When Daily Meetings Go Awry

What happened when I lost my cool in our daily quality huddle

Sam Ochstein

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Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

I messed up the other day.

During our daily 8:30 a.m. quality huddle I got passionate, to put it charitably.

“What the hell is going on in that department?!?!” I yelled after learning about yet another quality problem for a part that we had been making for a long time with minimal issues, but now had all manner of defects produced daily.

“And why don’t any of the Leaders or Coordinators know what’s going on when we ask them?” I rapidly followed.

Not my finest moment.

Kind of an epic fail, really.

And definitely not my MO.

The next morning my boss and I had a chat.

He was far more gracious than he could have been or should have been.

He acknowledged the pressure I was under to perform well and get our KPIs in line.

But that was no excuse for my outburst.

People don’t respond to shouting. That’s not good leadership. We need to be better.

I agreed.

It was poignant coaching.

Then my boss took most of the blame on himself for not stepping in and immediately redirecting a meeting that had gone awry.

The heat of the moment is his weak spot, he confessed. He needs time to think. Time to sit back and reflect and figure out what to say.

“That’s a good thing,” I assured him. “At least you’re not impulsive and overly passionate at times . . . . . like me.”

He assured me that passion was sometimes a good thing. And then we agreed that we need to do better. That I need to be better.

At the next 8:30 meeting, he and I apologized to the team.

He for not stepping in to redirect things and me for losing my cool.

We also coached the team to come to the daily quality huddle prepared, to bring examples if there is an issue, and to continue working together to solve problems because we do that very well.

The lesson learned is that sometimes you mess up.

If you haven’t messed up, you will eventually. Trust me. It’s inevitable.

But when you do, admit it.

Say you’re sorry.

And then get better.

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Sam Ochstein

Former Pastor | Reader | Writer | Walker | Whiskey Lover | Contemplative Extrovert | MMin, MATS