Here are just two activities that I recommend to my teams when they participate in a daily huddle:
-Pay attention to what your team member says. It will end in under two minutes. Then do the same to each and every one. As they speak, connect to what they said yesterday. (You have now effectively listened to 5-6 people speak)
-When its your turn, speak clearly, make your task relevant to the teams’ work as much as possible.
By making these two the core expectations of the huddle, the realization is we:
1. Never paid attention to our colleagues and team members during any meeting.
2. We were always getting ready to counter they statements, or getting ready to speak.
3. That is why we heavily relied on meeting notes, long laundry lists…… and so on and so forth.
4. And is that why we needed extended “STATUS” meetings all the time?
NOW the funny part is…….. Organizations have been having meetings for ever. They begin at 5:00 am if you have near shore, offshore employees….. and some start at midnight. Then why is the daily huddle called on as a “pain” / “prescribed by Scrum” or being labelled as a failure by Agile Coaches as “team members are lazy”
Scrum asks teams to practice: LISTENING. ACTIVE LISTENING. which means… SHOWING RESPECT.
My secondary objective to set the bar high from day 1 of the daily huddle is also to inform their Managers, Leaders, C-Execs…. “People! Yes, your team meets everyday at a certain time. Yes. they discuss tasks. Oh but wait. YOU cannot hijack that meeting to get status reporting. Nope”. Sorry. you are allowed to participate. Listen and observe. Provide your two minute update. YES. You need to actively listen. and SHOW RESPECT.
As a team matures and evolves, they will understand the “street play” that is being staged during the huddle. Without prompting, they will realize who needs to start first, who will take the talking token next (if they are using one) and begin to enjoy the ceremony in harmony.
I do have a third and a fourth objective to stress the relevance of active listening. Soon to come …