"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
I've had a few difficult conversations over the last few weeks. They're bloody hard work! As such, sometimes teams avoid having them and muddle along. Not good!
Here are some potentially tricky conversations I've had with my teammates over the years:
Other testers: How can we improve the way we test?
Product managers/owners: Can you tell me what makes this work more important than x? Do we need to do it now (or at all)?
Developers: If we implement it that way, we must do much more testing. How can we mitigate that?
Customers: What do you hate about our product? What one thing would you change about it and why?
Scrum masters: We can't keep overcommitting to stories. How can we help the team understand that "done" == built + tested?
Themselves: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Should you double down on your strengths or bolster your shortcomings?
The reluctance to have difficult conversations strongly signals things aren't safe for one or more team members.
And often, it's the testers that come off worst of all.