Check-In / Check-Out
Check-in and check-out processes are fundamental to the work we engage in, and set the context for what we actually do. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of them being powerful. It’s a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen, and heard. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus, and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and closure.
When meeting face-to-face, sit in a circle or “U” shape.
Choose a check-in question based upon context; the purpose of your session, the time you have and the group members. Crafting the check-in question is important. You want to think about:
- How much time do you have for the check-in? Does the question invite a 3-5 minute story from each person, a word or two, or a sentence or two?
- How can the check-in connect and support the rest of the agenda and the overall purpose of the gathering?
- What kind of tone do you want to create? Playful? Serious? Connecting? Learning something new about each other?
- If the group is very familiar with check-ins and have been meeting together regularly, maybe it is time to introduce fun and playfulness between the more serious meetings. Examples: “the animal that represents my mood today”, “my superhero power pose”, or something else creative & fun that could work depending on your particular context.
A check-in question like “Say a few words on how you are arriving today – what you might need to say to be fully present today” is another option that could lead a shorter check-in.
Check-in and check-out processes are not trivial time wasters in our meetings. If they feel that way, something is either missing or needs to be adjusted to relate to the session. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of the check-in and check-out being powerful.
One-by-one participants check-in, either in order around the circle or at random. Once every person has checked-in one time, check-in is over.
Stand or sit in a circle. Invite each member of the group to share one thing they “check-out” with. This could be a feeling, a reflection, the most important thing they take with them, what stands out the most, etc. Choose a check-out question based on the group and the purpose of the session.
One-by-one participants check-out either in order around the circle or at random. Once every person has checked-out one time, check-out is complete.