Huddling up isn’t just for sports teams, it works great in business, too. Here at Adventure Associates we have a morning huddle every day. For us it’s a quick, highly-directed stand-up meeting that allows us to check-in with the rest of the team on current activities and to keep abreast of any major happenings in the company.
They’re a great way to get off on the right foot for the day, and even for those of you who are averse to meetings, you’ll likely find that they’re quite painless and actually helpful. Likewise, they also help develop camaraderie and a sense of shared goals. Below you’ll find some tips for implementing huddles in your workplace.
Start the day with a huddle
Since huddles facilitate information exchanges, they can help with moving past roadblocks by involving the right personnel. By surfacing troubles in the morning, people can arrange their days with the intention of assisting and being assisted where necessary.
Keep them short and sweet
Ten minutes is a good time frame to aim for, give or take a few minutes. Huddle’s aren’t a place for intensive discussions or debate, they’re a rapid exchange of information. Surfacing problems is a great use of huddles — solving them should be handled afterward. As a rule of thumb, we try to make sure all the things covered are good-for-the-group, that they affect most if not all people present. This prevents the huddle from getting too far into the weeds.
Get up, stand up…
Standing up keeps participants awake and alert versus slouching in an office chair and wistfully day dreaming about their tempurpedics. It also helps with keeping meetings shorter, as your feet start to ache if you are standing for too long.
Pick a lead
Call her a huddle-master, or whatever catchy title you like. It will be her job to keep the huddle going and on-target. Here at Adventure Associates, people volunteer for this position. If you regularly have stragglers, you might try making the last person to the huddle the huddle-master.
Create agenda items
To keep up the rapid pace and prevent rambling, it can be helpful to have a set agenda. We usually start with a casual check-in to hear how people are doing, which is a great way to learn more about your co-workers and how they’re feeling. Sharing something personal like the fact that your baby kept you up all night builds empathy in the team and helps to set expectations, explaining why you might be a little foggy-headed for the day. We also cover program updates, miscellaneous announcements, and scheduling items — like out-of-office meetings or doctor’s appointments. Obviously you’ll want to tailor the agenda to your specific business — and to do this I suggest focusing on areas of overlap, where the information discussed is such that it affects multiple people. This way you can better coordinate with others throughout the day and accomplish more of your goals.
Give daily huddles a go!
Company huddles are a great way to keep everybody on the same page and are short enough to avoid the ire of even the most fervent meeting-haters. As every-day huddlers, we wholeheartedly recommend you try them out in your organization.
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