Huddles - How to focus team in just 5 minutes

Posted in : Coaching in the Moment on 7 August 2019
Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd
Issues covered:

Your team wants better communications but fewer meetings. Team huddles are the solution to so many challenges for a team. They help the team connect, refocus and re-energise. But they can do even more. The trick is to allow your team to do the talking, sharing of experiences, providing support to one another.

Coaching in the Moment

The Challenge

Your team is losing focus, motivation and communications could be better. 

The Solution

Reinvent the Daily Huddle to include Peer Learning

Takeaway Actions

Make Daily Huddles interactive, focused and fun. Use the 80:20 rule to shape your huddles, with your team doing 80% of the talking. Focus on one learning topic, guided by the Facilitator

Huddles (or briefings) are daily stand up meetings, lasting anything between 5 to 15 minutes. They are a powerful way to focus the team on the day’s agenda and to overcome daily challenges and roadblocks. Huddles can improve motivation and build positive behaviour change for better results. Sounds good? Sure, but they can do so much more. For the most part, team briefings feature one speaker, imparting the most important news for the day. On a good day, the speaker may crack a joke to make the briefing more fun. But the power of the team is lost if the team is not allowed to shape the experience.

Reinvent your Daily Huddles by turning the experience into a buzzy problem solving session, with the team sharing ideas and solutions, enabling those who have special skills and experience in the team to support and teach others.  All benefit from the shared learning and from the wisdom of the team.

Top Tips on Running Huddles

80:20 rule: Use the 80:20 rule to structure your huddles. You ask the questions with your team doing 80% of the talking. Have a prepared agenda. For example, review key learnings from yesterday, preview to-day and focus on one learning topic at a time. Rotate facilitator role among the team.

Timing: Huddles should start and end at the same time. First thing in the morning is ideal as it energises everyone for the day and gives the team a chance to share their priority for that day.

Vision: This is a great opportunity to link to the vision even if it is just using the language of the vision throughout the huddle.

Clarity: Make sure everyone understands what is happening during the day and clarify who is doing what (and why!). This helps build team cohesion.

Present: All team members should be present (either physically present or by phone, skype). Also, each team member should speak each day.

Standing: To help keep these huddles quick and energising, all team members should stand throughout the meeting, ideally in a circle around the facilitator.

Motivate: End the Huddle on a high. Encourage and motivate all to do their best today.

One senior and award- winning leader coach we have worked with Roger Cawley, who has over 35 years team experience in EBS and other organisations, comments:  huddles work. They help create a sense of urgency, improve team-work and communications, drive accountability, and lead to better results.

Use these tips to revamp your team huddles. Let people know in advance that you are reshaping your huddles so that everyone is on board. Your just 5 Minutes away from a re-energised, refocused team!


The content of this article was provided by Karl O'Connor and Cariona Neary, OCN Coaching Champions.

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This article is correct at 07/08/2019

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Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd

The main content of this article was provided by Karl O'Connor. Email

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