Saturday, November 16, 2013

Team Huddles and Energy calls

Once upon a time the Indian cricket team was going through a crisis and if I remember right, this was around the 2003 World Cup - and they started getting into a huddle before every match.

In sport, a huddle is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to strategise, motivate or celebrate. It is a popular strategy for keeping opponents insulated from sensitive information, and acts as a form of insulation when the level of noise in the venue is such that normal on-field communication is difficult. Commonly the leader of the huddle is the team captain and it is the captain who will try to inspire his fellow team members to achieve success. Similarly after an event a huddle may take place to congratulate one another for the teams success, or to commiserate a defeat. The term "huddle" can be used as a verb as in "huddling up". (wikipedia)

This is recognized as a universal strategy. I have seen this in manufacturing industries as the morning prayer (I remember one of the mantras was Karagre Vasate Lakshmi - a beautiful shloka about the hands - so apt in a the factory where people work with their hands). Rugby teams do it, army units do it. Indeed, as it happens, even teams working in technology and BPO do it.

It has a great motivational effect. Coming together before the days work, deciding what needs to be done, understanding what needs to be done and so on and so forth. And perhaps I will segue that into a story on the importance of 'ritual' at some point, but that is for later.

A few months ago, as part of a stage play - we followed a ritual. We would recite, Angikam Bhuvanam (never realised that this was connected to dance). We called it the energy call. And it had an amazing energizing quality to it. People were energised and it directed us into a 'zone' of performance.

Various things happen in a huddle. Sometimes, it is sharing a thought. Sometimes, wishing someone. Sometimes, reiterating the goal. Sometimes, it is just a chant that gives energy!

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