Effective Communication – The Art of the Daily Huddle

by Coach Rob Balfanz

As we prepare for the post season and head into the 4th quarter, it is important to remember how crucial structured, positive communication is every day. In this post, I focus on the importance of effective communication using The Art of the Daily Huddle.

“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” – Mike Krzyzewski

Each day, each project, each opportunity, our goals should be pretty simple and not overcomplicated. As leaders, contractors and business owners, our day must be planned out in advance, and we should be ready for anything. We need to have a plan and be prepared to address our team.

The Art of the Daily Huddle

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your next 2-minute daily huddle:

  • Communicate to your team in advance that you will be holding a 2-minute or daily huddle each day before each project or shift starts.
  • Set expectations early, and allow your team to prepare in advance. Select a well-known location and let your team know where the huddle will take place. The last thing you want to do is catch someone off guard.
  • Reduce distractions by telling everyone in advance that the meetings are hands-free – you want everyone’s undivided attention.
  • Remind the team to arrive a few minutes early. Do not require them to be there too early, just a few minutes early, as it will let them know that you care and value their time, too.
  • As your team arrives, acknowledge them individually, by name, making them all feel part of the process. Each person should feel like they deserve to be there and that they are an essential part of the team. If you do this as they arrive, it saves time at the start of the meeting.
  • Start your 2-minute or daily huddle on time, stay focused, keep it short and end on time.
  • Make eye contact and look at your team. This is the best time to see them, listen to them and watch how they interact with you and each other. You may not get to see them for the rest of the day, so now is the best time to observe.
  • Stand up and address your team front and center.
  • Stay on task – do not drift off onto another topic that is not relevant.
  • Utilize the parking lot rule, which means if it doesn’t apply to what is happening right now, park the topic in the parking lot and get back to it another time (or they can follow up with you later). This is also a good time to let them know your office hours and where they can contact you individually.
  • If you allow time for questions, involve the entire team. Do not exclude anyone. Once again, make sure they all know they have a voice. If they speak up, thank them for doing so!
  • Wrapping up, ask for any questions or comments. If anyone speaks up, listen. If you are going to ask your team to listen to you, then you must be an effective listener for them as well. This allows for a level playing field and shows respect for each other.
  • Always remind them to check their equipment, and end with a safety tip or safety comment of the day. Nothing is more important than their safety and wellbeing.
  • Remind them that if they see something, they should say something.
  • Always end on a positive note, with a positive comment, and with a smile. And again, always say thank you.
  • Offer a handshake, knuckle bump or a touchless form of appreciation for all that they do.
  • Don’t ask; always require that your team start and end their day the same way they started, happy and safe!

“Gratitude drives happiness. Happiness boasts productivity. Productivity reveals mastery. And Mastery inspires the world.” – Robin S. Sharma

It STILL is and WILL Always Be About the Details

As I have noted in previous posts, in life and business, it’s the little things that usually add up to be big.

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Until then,

Be Resilient – Add Value – Stay Healthy – Deliver the Experience - Trust the Process!

To your success,

“Coach” Rob Balfanz

Director, Workforce Development