Tips For Holding Company Huddles

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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