If You’re a Leader, You’ll Love the Huddle

By February 23, 2022Leadership
leaders will love the huddle

A Leader’s Best Friend

What’s that? You asked the Thrive Team what the easiest and most useful thing they’ve taught leaders in the last 3 years is? Such a great question! Our answer is hands down “the huddle”. When things get chaotic or extra busy, when everyone or just some people are working remotely, the huddle is a leader’s best friend.

The Team Huddle

Huddles create a predictable time to keep people in sync. Synch is the key to staying connected and productive together no matter where you’re working. When things get extra bananas, you need to huddle more, not less.

Better Connection = Better Trust

Teams we work with who have started regular huddles report not just staying more productive together, especially when working hybrid, but they feel more connected to each other. That’s a big win because better team connection = more trust. 

How a Huddle Works

  1. Pick a regular time that works for you and your team, at least twice a week. Some teams huddle twice a day. Our team huddles at 8:30 am every weekday.

  2. Choose a format for your huddle. We huddle on Slack. Some teams huddle in person, on a group text, on Teams, on a phone call, or Zoom.

  3. Huddles should be max. 15 min. Our team huddle takes 5 minutes.

  4. During your huddle everyone takes turns answering these questions:
    1. What is your schedule today? (Note when you’re available)
    2. Do you need any help with anything?
    3. Can you offer help with anything?
    4. Do you have any questions?
    5. Bonus: Throw in a “temperature check” or a question to get a little team connection going. “Scale of 1-5 where 5=thriving and 1=having a real hard day, what number says how you are today?” or “What’s one good thing that’s happened in the last 24 hours?”
  5. It’s nice to rotate who convenes and leads the huddle. If you lead the huddle you make sure:
    1. Everyone had a chance to speak or type in
    2. No work gets done in the huddle
    3. Questions get organized and connected to people who can help
    4. If anyone needs help that it gets addressed

The reason why you might need more huddles when things get particularly crazy is that the faster things move, the more stressful things are, the more questions people have, the better it is to touch base quickly and frequently. Huddles help people find stability, connection, and predictability in the chaos and nutty pace of your busiest times.

A Typical Team Huddle For Us

Evan: Good morning. What a game last night- did you guys catch that? Today: Marketing catch-up with Katie, Client A follow-ups, budget projections this afternoon and I’ll be off at 3:00 for kid pick-up. @jen did you get a chance to review that proposal?

Jack: Good morning. 2 coaching sessions this morning, prep for Client B retreat tomorrow, and a brainstorming session this afternoon. That was a close game, an impressive throw at the end.

Jen: Good morning! @evan I did check out the proposal looks good to send- have a couple of comments I posted. Didn’t see that game but heard it was a good one. Coaching this morning, I’ll be in on that brainstorm this afternoon @jack and client C meeting over lunch. When is a good time to meet to work on Client D’s request? I’ll be around except for picking up kids at 4:30 today.

Experiment With a Huddle

If you’ve been thinking about huddles but haven’t tried them yet, it’s always a good time to get them going. If you’re not sure how they will work, that’s okay, set up a huddles experiment. Ask your team to create a plan with you to try them for a couple of weeks. Decide who leads them, what format you’re going to use (text, Slack, phone, in-person), what questions you agree to answer, and how often you want to huddle. At the end of a couple of weeks, get back together and critique your experiment. Ask each other what went well, what didn’t work, and if there’s anything to tweak. Then you can decide to take them forward in a way that works for all of you. 

Eager to Talk Through These Ideas?

If you want to talk through how to set up huddles with your team, or you just have a huddle question, get in touch with us! We’ll help you problem solve any huddle challenge with a free 15-30 minute coaching session.

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Jen Margolis

About Jen Margolis

My passion is helping people find and use their strengths to move toward their biggest vision. My career began as a community organizer with refugees and grew to designing and facilitating programs for international professionals including grassroots women leaders in Egypt. These experiences led me to management consulting focusing on strategic planning, leadership development, community and education based program development and executive coaching.