Most every team sport huddles together several times in a game. Players get in close, wrap their arms around each other and talk strategy, design a play or just take a breath. It is one of the most important team actions in a game. A player will tell you that a huddle is a moment away from the action, the cheering crowd and pressure of the game. A coach will huddle up his players to give out accolades, criticism or to gauge how his players are doing. A huddle is sacred, no one can break the huddle and the team bonds in a huddle. Most every huddle has a leader whether it is the coach, quarterback, point guard, etc. The leader who gives instruction, sets the tone for the game and also breaks the huddle.
At work, I would say the huddle has been replaced with the staff meeting. Co-workers sit around a table, exchange ideas, and discuss strategy. The boss will use the staff meeting to execute plans, praise or criticize and get a read on their staff. While a team will huddle 2-4 times a game, an office staff may only meet once a week.
What is said in a huddle or staff meeting can make the difference in the game or strategy. A coach or boss who uses the huddle/meeting to praise and support their team will see positive results. If the huddle/meeting talk is all negative, the team will respond negatively as well.
I think offices could use the ‘huddle’ more in their culture. In addition to the weekly staff meeting, start a Friday ‘rah rah’ meeting where co-workers who can attend talk about what went well that week, celebrating the wins. Throw in a few high fives or fist bumps and you have the making of great team bonding.
A huddle doesn’t have to be with a team of people it could be with only two people. Managers should consider ‘huddling’ with their staff one on one more to get a genuine feel of how that person is doing. Remember, not everyone can talk in a large huddle which means some folks don’t get a voice at all. No matter how big or small your team is, don’t forget to huddle up once in a while and come up with new ideas or just take stock of how your team is doing.
Go Team! Break!