Hope Huddles in Five Steps for Better Cooperation, Collaboration, and Productivity

Purpose Built Families Foundation.

ifting each other up, heading off problems, encouraging open, accurate communication — that’s always important. Important becomes urgent when cooperation keeps people alive. In the Coronavirus Era of social distancing, Hope Huddles will improve productivity and strengthen collaboration. One version is based on an exercise developed decades ago by Virginia Satir, and it’s helped many couples, families, and teams bring out the best in each other.

Whether you’re in person, texting, or zooming, take five to 20 minutes to follow these five steps, in order, with the people who are important in your life. Because it’s valuable to do this regularly — ideally every day — keep your Hope Huddles to relatively brief. Take turns in each area, giving each person in the huddle a chance to say something before you go on to the next step. When you can’t get together at the same time, write out your Hope Huddle, and share it.

Always start with Appreciations. Always finish with Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams. Sometimes there won’t be anything for the other areas of your Hope Huddle. That’s okay.

STEP 1 — Appreciations. Generous, sincere, and specific. Look for what’s right about a family member, friend, colleague, patient, student, or anyone else in your huddle — something they did that’s worthy of acknowledgment. Put it into words, and say it.

STEP 2 — New Information. Keep each other up-to-date. What happened last night, today, or in between? What’s coming up later? Pass on helpful and important information to stay informed and connected.

STEP 3 — Puzzles. Ask your questions. Don’t assume (“ass-u-me”). Check out anything you’re wondering about with the person or people who may have answers. Give others a chance to answer if they have an answer and are ready to share it. If answering takes a longer conversation, set a time for that to happen outside the time set aside for your Hope Huddle.

STEP 4 — Concerns with Recommendations. Head off issues before they become problems. Focus on one specific behavior or action. Include details of what you want instead. It’s about an action or behavior, not a person — we’re on the same team.

STEP 5 — Wishes, Hopes & Dreams. For ourselves or others; for today, this week, or this lifetime. Sharing goals and aspirations helps us know, support, and inspire each other.

Seth Eisenberg is President/CEO of Purpose Built Families Foundation and Co-Founder of the Operation Sacred Trust program for ending Veteran homelessness.

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