Tips For Holding Company Huddles

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I’m a big advocate of regular huddles.  If you’ve ever worked with me, you know this!  So today, I want to give some reminders about how to have great huddles, and also some tips if you feel like yours are getting a bit stale:

What makes huddles great:

  • They happen standing up. Sit down and they go 30% longer, and 30% of the energy drains out of the room
  • They’re timed. Appoint a timer.  Once you’ve passed 10 (ish) minutes, walk away
  • They start precisely on time. If you wait for stragglers, the people there on time make a mental note to be late next time
  • They’re never skipped. Once you skip, you fall out of rhythm and soon they aren’t happening anymore
  • Everyone participates
  • Responses are tweet-sized, not novel size
  • You have a traffic cop who directs the huddle and keeps it on track and on time

What kills your huddles:

  • Allowing vague responses; ‘Just lots to do today.’ Use names.  Cite specifics.  Don’t allow generalities, ever
  • Going too long. As soon as they lengthen, you’ll hate them and find reasons to let them die
  • Allowing conversations to happen that don’t involve everyone. If they come up, just say, “Let’s take that offline after the huddle.”

Huddle questions:

  • What’s your top priority for the day/week?
  • What’s your roadblock?
  • What’s one win you’ve had?
  • Anything we should know about your area or your team?
  • What’s something you do around here that others may not know about?

Huddle ideas:

  • Recognize someone who’s lived out a core value
  • Focus on one small part of your one page plan and explain why it’s there
  • Tell stories around the core values and purpose
  • Recognize birthdays/anniversaries
  • Start with a check-in out of 10 (how is the person feeling as they check in?)
  • End with a cheer
  • Pass on information-outgoing – what’s new at the company? What’s in the news?
  • Alternate huddle leadership
  • Ask someone to bring an inspirational quote of the day

Spice up your huddles!  Push back on the pushback!  They take 10 minutes; that’s a bathroom break. Communication is critical.

These are my ideas.  If you have others, hit reply and I’d love to hear about them!

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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