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The Do's and Don’ts of an Outstanding Huddle: How to Maximize Your Meetings

Dec 4, 2019 by Kevin Walter 0 Comments


Meetings can be a major pain point in many organizations. Often, they are one extreme or the other—incredibly productive, or a waste of time and money for your company. That's why it's important to maximize the time in your team Huddle, so you can effectively solve problems and address issues, increase productivity and efficiency, provoke new ideas, and build trust and morale.

Do you ever find yourself second-guessing your workplace Huddles, thinking they could be better? Overall, if you’re getting what you need to get out of them, then you’re probably doing a good (enough) job. But sometimes it takes more than “good enough” to have great Huddle experiences week after week.

Below are a few Huddle do's and don’ts designed to help you tweak minor behaviors and practices to ensure that you are getting as much as your team can get out your Huddle week after week:

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Channel Your Inner Opening Act

Think about some of the best opening acts you’ve seen. Did he/she tell a riveting story? Do something incredible? Was he/she really funny? Your job as the opener is to warm up the crowd to get them pumped for the Huddle. Do something out of the ordinary that sparks engagement and excitement.

Get Personal

One of the best ways to earn the engagement of your fellow Huddlers is to get personal. Try telling a story from your weekend or childhood, or share some personal news with everyone. The more connected your meeting feels with you as the leader, the more invested they are in what you will be saying, before, during, and after the story.

Make a Tradition

Before the start of every Huddle, carry out your team’s tradition. For example, our team rings a bell before the start of every Huddle. It signifies the end of our lunch/social time and the beginning of our down-to-business time. It gets people in the mindset of participation and interaction.

Ask Questions

Keep everyone on their toes during meetings by asking randomly chosen employees questions. This shouldn’t be a way to seek out and embarrass those who aren’t engaged, but rather a way that will encourage your employees to be proactive and ask questions when they don’t understand something that has been said.

Incorporate MiniGame™ Reports and Updates

Great Game™ is all about financial transparency and sharing information. The Huddle is the BEST time to give updates on your MiniGames because it allows other departments or teams to offer input or help, as well as lends the opportunity to recognize well-performing teams in front of their peers.

Make a Plan for Staff That Cannot Attend

If you always have your Huddles Wednesday afternoons, but there are staff members who do not work Wednesdays or have other responsibilities to attend to during that time, you need a plan to get the information to them. Tasty Catering is in the service industry, and we often have employees scheduled to drop off or pick up food and equipment during our weekly Huddles since we operate on our customers’ schedules. There are times when some staff members simply cannot make a Huddle. As a result, we have designated members of each department to review Huddle information and numbers with staff who missed the Huddle every week. It’s important to keep EVERYONE in the know so all remain engaged in The Game!


Don't Forget That the Details Matter

Details could mean a million different little things. It could be as small as not erasing a number from last week’s Huddle that no longer belongs on your Huddle board—distracting! Or it could be something that isn’t visual. You could be leading your meeting with a dry, monotonous tone. That can be a recipe for disengagement. Carry yourself in the proper manner—one that warrants some attention!

Don't Limit Your Interactions to Just the Huddle

It could be tempting, especially if your office is nowhere near many of the other employees’ desks or workstations throughout the company, to finish the Huddle and then go right back to your office. Stick around, get into the habit of answering any questions after the meeting and interact with your employees.

Don't Overlook the Power of Presentation

Whether it’s your Game board or MiniGame boards, having the right presentation will add so much to your overall engagement. A visually-pleasing presentation will encourage employees' interest.

Don't Dwell on the Negatives

Instead of spending energy dwelling on negative numbers or performance, figure out what can be done to turn it around. This is a great time to invite the entire group to participate in coming up with a solution.

Start Implementing!

You can implement some of the above bullets right away and others might take a little getting used to or practice, especially that first “do” on the list.

Not all of these will happen overnight, but they will certainly, over time, impact your Huddles in the long term. Your employees will lose the “Huddle fatigue,” and will always arrive ready to participate and engage.

Learn more helpful tools to maximize your Game with insights and guidance from an experienced Great Game™ Coach: 

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Topics: Huddles

Kevin Walter
Written by Kevin Walter
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Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.