Abstract/Description

The stereotype of engineers and technical professionals as inarticulate, socially inept geniuses inventing problems to solve is unkind and inaccurate. Yet the Dilbert image persists. So do jokes like the one about the engineer sentenced to death on the guillotine, who watches the instrument of death malfunction, then tells the operators how to fix it.

Why do people make fun of engineers? Do people wired and trained to analyze and solve problems and focus on the mechanics of a situation frustrate those whose brains are wired differently? And how does their way of dealing with individuals and interactions - that first value of the Agile Manifesto - sometimes get in the way of team collaboration and productivity?

In this interactive session, we'll show a little empathy for engineers and other analytical folk whose neurological wiring makes them seem different from the rest of humanity. We'll also explore how those with the engineering mindset can develop their own empathy and consciously adopt behaviours that amplify their value to their teams and organizations, make them more effective leaders - and make their own lives easier by positioning themselves for understanding.

Join Shawn, a long time developer, and Sue, a coach and communication specialist, in a lively exploration of what can happen when engineers and technical professionals shift their mindset from solving problems to creating impact.

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

Shawn is an expert in Agile development practices and Agile/Lean Coach, with the proven ability to help individuals, teams, and enterprises adopt better ways of working. Shawn has found that Agile and Lean are most effective when they are based in trust and respect for the people doing the work. He believes that we are in the first stages of a revolution that will someday result in a new work norm, where people are universally valued, empowered and happy in their jobs.

Sue Johnston helps you talk so people listen, listen so people talk and change the world, one conversation at a time. A professional coach and coach trainer, her interests have always been interpersonal communication and teamwork.A former journalist, she enjoyed a second career as an employee communication specialist, introducing technological, organizational and regulatory change in large financial institutions. That led to the launch of It's Understood Communication to help build better teams and organizations through improved interactions.With a background in IT, degrees in psych and business, professional training as a coach and a base in Waterloo, Ontario, Sue is now actively involved in the agile community and a regular conference speaker. Her popular learning programs in coaching and facilitation are accredited by ICAgile. She is the author of 'Talk To Me: Workplace Conversations That Work' and a partner in Leanintuit.