If you are a sports fan, you’ll know that at the start of every match, the team huddles. Every game, any sport, always starts with a team huddle. There are several advantages of huddles, which is why it is a core element in any pre-game prepping. You can easily translate the same activity for your dental practice. Start your day with morning huddles. You will see the results in just a few days. It might seem like an easy task to check off from the to-do list. When you practice it, you’ll realize that there are many things that you are overlooking at the moment. So how do you make the most of your morning huddles?
The psychology behind teamwork and huddling.
Let’s start with what hurdles are. Huddles are short and focused team meetings that are conducted standing up. It is an activity that you should practice daily for the best results. Morning huddles are far from formal meetings. Huddles are peer-peer discussion spaces. You should not conduct huddles like you would with a business meeting. It is quick, sharp, and ultra-focused. Morning huddles typically last from 15 to 30 minutes.
The next question would be: why are huddles important? And why should you practice them in the morning?
Morning huddles are one tool that helps you promote peer-to-peer communication and tackle the day’s work expectations in one go. There is no mediator and no supervision when it comes to huddles. You should conduct them standing up to induce a sense of promptness and urgency. Your team should spend at least 15 minutes facilitating an open and quick conversation. The casual nature of morning huddles promotes open discussion and communication.
There is a reason people should practice their morning huddles before a game or in the morning. It is the same as why most people do yoga or meditation in the morning. Fresh minds grasp information more quickly than exhausted ones. At the start of the day, everyone is awake and sharp. The brain is rested and ready to take the day on. Businesses use huddle time as a morale booster and to allocate the day’s work.
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How to get into the habit of practicing morning huddles?
While huddles are one of the most effective tools. Morning huddles are tough to implement. The first few weeks of morning huddles will be hit-or-miss. It will take a bit of time for your team to get used to huddle time and a bit longer to practice them efficiently. Huddles are like skills. The more you do them, the better you get. Therefore, do them as often as you can, weekly or even daily. Start with 30 minutes to get used to practicing it. You can always cut the time down to 15 or 20 when you get better at it.
The first step is to get everyone to turn up to work on time. Later arrivals will disrupt the huddle in progress. Hence, it is important to have everyone join in on time so that no one is missing out on any information. Here are a few more tips:
- Have dedicated time every day for morning huddles.
- It is preferable to practice at the same time every day to build a habit.
- Try to keep it as short as possible while still having enough time to cover all bases.
- Never exceed the 30-minute mark.
- Follow a structure. Switch things up if they do not work for your team.
What should you focus on in your morning huddle?
Each business morning huddle will look different and will cover different things. Treat huddles like you would marketing strategy and business structure. Huddling techniques and methods are unique to a team and business, much like making strategy. Copying someone’s strategy will not help you in the long term. Hence, focus on what is important to your team and work with their strengths.
1. Work on short-term and long-term goals.
At the start of the week/month, you can use huddle time to discuss the goals of the week/month. Having long-term goals will help you strategize your short-term goals. Optimizing all strategies for long-term goals is the best way to start the week/month. You should focus on short-term goals and everyday workload in daily morning huddles. Discussing tasks and goals of the day can help your team get a feel for what is being done and what tasks are priorities. Assigning priority gets your team on the same page. Plus, it is the perfect time to delegate tasks to people who have a laxer schedule for the day.
2. What metrics do you want to highlight?
Different departments will have different matrices they will check on. The marketing team would focus on driving conviction rates or brand awareness. Whereas the financial team would focus on collection, revenue, and gross profit margin. It is important to highlight metrics since they change for changes in objectives. If the objective of the week is retention, then your metrics should reflect that. If your objective is gaining new customers, your metrics should change accordingly. Your team can only monitor and track metrics if you highlight the KPIs. Without this, there is no way for your team to know what is important and what metrics you can skip.
3. Less is better in morning huddles.
Remember: your morning huddle time should not be longer than 30 minutes on any day. In such an instance, less is more. Huddle times are not the time to hold an official meeting with an agenda and record minutes of the meeting. Huddle time is solely to get the team on the right track for work and nothing else. Limit the discussion of what is important and what needs to be done on that day.
4. Structure the huddle to fit your team.
While huddle time is usually a free flow of ideas, having a framework is important. You do not want to miss covering anything due to the flow. Therefore, create a structure for your morning huddle time. You can always make a checklist of the things that you want to cover, so you miss nothing. Allot 5 minutes for task delegation. 5 minutes for task prioritization and to highlight KPIs. Another 5 for employee performance and company objectives. How you structure your huddle time will depend on the team and department. You should take the first few weeks to get a feel for what things are important to cover and things that you should include in the next huddle meeting.
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