We’ve all been there. That office meeting that drags on and on and on, when you have a thousand other things you really need to be doing in your day. It’s frustrating. It’s inefficient. And, frankly, it’s also very last decade.
If you haven’t yet come across the concept of ‘huddling’, read on! Because it might just transform the way your team communicates for the better. So much better.
WHAT IS A HUDDLE?
A huddle is a super-focused team catch-up that usually lasts between 5 and 15 minutes. More and more businesses are using daily huddles to replace traditional meetings and WIPs, treating them as highly efficient ways to stay aligned and share important news quickly, without causing major disruptions. Depending on how effectively you embrace them, huddles have the potential to save you and your staff literally hours every week in unnecessary emails and meetings. By providing a regular and informal opportunity for some quality face-time with your staff, they’re also an excellent way for managers to get an impromptu gauge of team morale at any given time. Oh, and one final point. Huddles can be just as effective for senior management as they are for the wider team. So why not embrace them and lead by example?
HOW TO RUN A HUDDLE
The real beauty of huddles comes from their informality. There are no hard and fast rules, no 100% ‘right’ way to run them. That said, there are definitely a few tips that can help you get the most out of your huddles. At ELR Executive, we’ve broken these down into three broad techniques:
1. STAND UP
Sitting down for meetings only encourages people to get comfortable and take their time. It’s also far easier for your attention to wander when you can gaze out the nearest window, doodle on your notepad or check your emails under the table. Like a basketball coach in a timeout, effective huddles typically involve team members standing shoulder to shoulder, often in reasonably close proximity. More eye contact. More focus. Less distractions.
2. SPEAK UP
The key to a good huddle is to encourage anyone who wants (or needs) to share something with the team to do so. But…don’t let any one person dominate the conversation. One morning move clock-wise around the group. The next time try anti-clockwise. Make sure everyone feels empowered to speak up, but also keep the conversation moving.
3. SHUT UP
This is a big one. Huddles should be short and sweet. Don’t waffle. Don’t linger. Go in with a clear purpose, and when you’re done, you’re done. Shut things down and let your team get on with everything else in their day!
Like any new workplace initiative, you can probably expect a little pushback from some team members at first. But it’s well worth preserving. Give huddles a chance and, before long, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them!