Check-ins are an approach to encourage each person in a meeting to speak to their peers. One by one, group members respond to a selected question or prompt. Prompts are chosen to elicit who participants are, how they feel or what they think about an almost limitless range of work-related and personal concerns. Leaders use check-ins deliberately to further a group’s development and ultimately, to enable it to perform at the highest level.
The check-in is a simple, deceptively powerful tool for collaboration that encourages each person in a group to speak. Check-ins prime the behaviors that make collaboration possible.
Check-ins urge groups toward higher performance. On the way, they help people sharpen their focus, create greater psychological safety, build stronger relationships, and increase commitment to their work.
If your group has to accomplish anything—regardless of whether it meets regularly or gathers for a single meeting, whether members know one another well or just met—check-ins can help.
Selecting appropriate check-in questions is both science and art. Your job is to select a question that both explicitly and implicitly urges your group in the direction it needs to travel.