Check-in is a meeting tool that can be used whenever,
you will benefit from eliciting every voice.
Why Check-In Is
A Powerful Tool?
You can suggest a check-in to open the meeting, then use it again prior to decision-making, to find out where everyone stands on an issue. A one-word or one-phrase check-in is helpful to bring closure at the end.
The beauty of this device is that the facilitator sets the parameters. You can ask for "one word each" or "two minutes each" -- whatever may serve the greater good and your meeting objectives.
The instructions for check-in are simple:
Offer the question and set the time limit.
It might be helpful for you to go first and suggest, “we will go clockwise from me.” This way you can set the tone for being as brief as you have specified in your instruction, and for going deep. A very personal check-in will radically enrich the dialogue and deepen relationships among participants. Be sure to instruct that "there will be no conversation or cross-talk." You can invite a few moments of silence before beginning for people to gather their thoughts, and state the intention for everyone to "deeply listen to each each speaker."
Our client partners have supplied many of the questions below. We invite you to share questions that work for you, and we will add them to the mix:
Check-in is a wonderful practice for teams to speak from the heart, without forethought. This builds trust. Whatever comes up is what the group needs to hear. People learn to stop rehearsing and listen instead.
As facilitator you can debrief after everyone has spoken. Reflect back the essence of what you have heard; perhaps suggest common themes. Your articulation of value will add meaning for participants and ready everyone to step into the next opportunity your meeting presents.