Several years ago when we took our company virtual, we were initially concerned with losing that face to face connection. For a small company back in 2009, IM, dial in conference calls, and Skype were the tools we had access to. Knowing the importance of keeping our personal connections dynamic, we tried a lot of different communication tools over the years, and settled on Zoom, and we still use IM for the quick inquiries. So while the distances between our team members was a lot farther than the offices we used to occupy, the concept of daily short huddles and 3x a week more in depth huddles, remained intact.
The above image was taken at a sports event using teenage volunteers. One can easily differentiate between those that are paying attention, vs. those that had other things, (such as lunch) on their minds. Even in face to face huddles, distractions are commonplace.
Earlier this week, while waiting for my turn to go through the airport body scanner at 5:00 am, I looked over to my right and saw a TSA group doing their morning huddle. I’m sure they’ve done hundreds of these on a regular basis, yet you could sense that each one knew this huddle was important. Somehow I didn't think I should photograph this group.
What I took away from observing these two huddles:
Huddles create connection
All teams use them in some form
They allow the leader to set the tone
Huddles create a quick forum to review the plan for the day/event/competition
Huddles block out noise and help bring focus inward to what the leader/coach is saying
During your huddles:
Create a pulse check, are they present or not
Ask what each person will do next to bring the team closer to goal
Have an accountability check-in
Just a few minutes is all that’s needed
Post event huddles
Allow the team to redirect and recalibrate
Ask what worked and what didn't for that day
Set the expectations for the next one
How do you huddle with your teams? What tools do you use? Can you share a success with huddles you’ve participated in?
Jamie Douraghy - Founder at Artisan Creative