The importance of a morning huddle

The importance of a morning huddle

Today I want to talk about something that I’m very passionate about. This has been coming up in my coaching sessions a lot lately so I thought I would share some tips about holding team huddles. 


Note: If you are not having daily huddles with your team, you are missing out on some very powerful time to connect with your team.  there is no better way to make sure your team is on pace throughout the day. It allows you to make corrections when necessary and keep everyone’s energy and spirits up all day long. 


So for the sake of this email, I am not going to try to convince you to start doing team huddles. Instead, I am going to give you ideas on how to take your team huddles to the next level. Whether you are doing team huddles on a weekly or daily basis, these tips are going to make that time really powerful and super effective. 


Now, you know me- I’m not a big sports person, but I love using sports analogies. When you see your sports team come out onto the field, you’ll notice they all come together. They don’t arrive at the stadium with just enough time to get dressed up. No- they arrive hours before so that they have plenty of time to get themselves situated and ready to be fully present for and fully participate in the pre-game huddle. 


So let’s start there: THE MORNING HUDDLE


The bare minimum that you can do is hold a daily morning huddle. Morning huddles set the tone for the day so make sure they are positive, energetic, and encouraging.  Focus on the game plan for how you will win the day. This is not the time to point out negatives or talk about challenges. Just as our team all arrived at the stadium hours before their game, your team needs to do that too. Every player needs to arrive at the office early enough that they are ready to participate in the huddle 100%. 


Another important note is to make sure that your morning huddle has structure. If you haven’t read the book “Meetings Suck” by Cameron Herold, I highly recommend it. It talks about the reason people hate meetings most is when the meeting has no structure. Some ideas to add to your meetings: What’s happening in the schedule today. What are today’s goals? Team celebrations. Role-Playing. 


And let’s be clear- the morning huddle is not for you or your team. It is for your clients! They will feel the difference when they walk into the room and feel the positive energy flowing. 


Now let’s talk about THE AFTERNOON HUDDLE. When I say ‘afternoon’ I really mean after lunch. This is like your half-time huddle. Maybe things aren’t going well or you are behind in your schedules and/or productivity. Maybe you’ve been rocking the morning and things are going great. Either way, this huddle allows you to analyze what happened during the first half of the day and then course correct so that you end the day on track with what your goals were. Sometimes all it takes to turn a rough day around is a few minutes to regroup, reconnect and adjust as necessary. Oftentimes when things aren’t going well, frustrations and stress mount and build on each other.. Breaking that all up with a team huddle can allow your team members to put a stop to that buildup and start fresh with the kind of positive energy we all want. 


Finally, let’s talk about one of my favorites THE EVENING HUDDLE. I love this time at the end of the day when you and the team can get together to talk about the day. How did it go? Bring out the scoreboard and see how many wins you got during the day. You cannot grow if you don’t measure your progress. This is your opportunity to point out the great things you saw. Get everyone jazzed about coming in the next day. Make plans for tomorrow- who may be out of the office?  How will you compensate for the missing team member? This is a great opportunity to plan ahead so surprises don’t throw off your team’s groove. Make assignments that coincide with your core values. 


Let’s go back to the sports teams- players do not leave the game early just because they are tired. No! They wait for the game to finish and check out the score. They take time to look at who won. They leave the field as a team. If you need to make adjustments to the schedule so everyone is done at the same time, do it!


Hold up- am I saying you should have three different team huddles every day? YES! Yes, I am. Am I crazy? Maybe. But I have seen the results with my clients time and again and believe me when I tell you, you want those kinds of results! 


I know what you’re thinking. Without fail, when I teach a new office about this principle I always get some pushback. Maybe you are thinking some of these things too: I don’t want to pay overtime. I have people who need to get to their families. People don’t want to get stuck in the traffic. 


None of these excuses trump the importance of you holding team huddles.  I promise if you make the effort to make this an office habit, it will become easier and easier. If you need to work up to 3 huddles a day, do that. Start with one and move on from there. But start! I guarantee this practice will be something that will help everyone win.