Power of PracticeHave you ever noticed that sometimes your firm just doesn’t feel right to you? Instead of having things move smoothly it just seems to take too much time and effort for things to get done. Even worse, when mistakes happen no one steps up to take responsibility. Do you have a hard time letting go and calling it quits on a project that’s never going to amount to anything?

Have you ever asked yourself why these things exist in your company? If you did you would likely find the answer is really simple. You’re probably not talking to others in your organization in a meaningful way.

But I talk with everyone all of the time.

The vast majority of businesses have less than twenty-five people. And I’m sure that you’re talking with your staff on a regular basis. I bet you even believe that everything that’s important gets talked about already.

The sad truth is that most of the conversation you have with others in your company doesn’t lead to effective communications. And it doesn’t lead to getting projects getting done quickly or effectively.

If talking with others doesn’t work, what should I do?

You should start by having a daily huddle. This is a daily fifteen-minute meeting held at the same time every day where you do the following four things:

  • You talk about open projects your team has.
  • You talk about any impediments or roadblocks that have popped up over the past day.
  • You talk about what the plan is for the day.
  • You allow people to ask for help.

It’s really pretty simple and fast. When fifteen minutes comes, you stop whether you’re done or not. As you practice doing a daily huddle you’ll find that meetings really do only last fifteen minutes.

Make sure you stand up.

You might be thinking that there is no way this type of meeting can last only fifteen minutes. If you let your staff sit down, then you would be right. When we sit we settle in for the long run.   If instead you stand you’ll get a completely different result.

When you do a standing meeting there is urgency in getting things done. No one is going to settle in. It’s just not comfortable for that to happen. Instead you’re going to find everyone will be anxious to be brief and then get back to their own projects.

Don’t have the meeting last for more than fifteen minutes.

Fifteen minutes needs to be a hard stop. If you allow the meeting to drag on, it will. When you only allow fifteen minutes or less you’re making sure everyone is moving forward and you’re not going to waste time dealing with issues that aren’t important.

As time goes on, you’ll get better at this. Remember everything when it’s new feels awkward. Having a daily huddle is no different. It’s going to take you a little time to get used to it.

Make sure those who need help ask for it.

The real purpose of the daily huddle is to report on any project that has hit a roadblock. The second reason for the meeting is for those who need help to ask for it.

Before either of these things will happen you’re going to need to realize they require trust. No one is going to ask for help or let anyone know there’s a problem on a project unless there is a general feeling in your company that we’re all working together.

This feeling starts with you. If you’re not allowing mistakes and rapidly changing priorities it’s just not going to happen. Great organizations all are flexible in how they handle challenges. And all great organizations do this well because of general trust that exists in their firms.

Are you willing to give this idea a try?

I bet you’re thinking that having a short meeting every day is going to be too much. I bet you might even be thinking that there’s no way you can have a daily meeting that will last only fifteen minutes.

At first you might have a hard time staying to fifteen minutes. With practice you’ll find that your daily meeting might only take five or ten minutes. The more you practice and the more you focus on only what’s important the quicker your meeting will go.

I’m going to challenge you to try this for three weeks. If at the end of this time it’s not working, give me a call. I’m willing to bet that you aren’t going to need to call me and you’ll be glad you tried the daily huddle.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below and we can even start a conversation.

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Topics: Creating Value, For business owners, Hiring, effective meetings

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