What is a check in?
Usually, you just go around the room allowing each person to say a few words - before starting with the agenda items. As variations, the leader might suggest a check in theme, or suggest a quick one-sentence check in, or other variations.
Check In Guidelines
- Accept each speaker's words as a gift. (Don’t interrupt, question, analyze, or respond. Just listen.)
- Be concise. (Usually, each speaker will complete his or her thoughts in less than a minute. A check-in might take considerably longer if someone is distracted by an intense life experience.)
- “Pass” is a valid check-in. (Everyone has the right to reticence. )
Purposes of Check In
- To focus on people before focusing on the agenda.
- To provide a transition from “the world out there” to the meeting.
- To provide an opportunity to explain why you might not be fully focused and “present” (e.g. not feeling well, worried about a family member, frustration…)
- To help members become better acquainted with each other, and to learn how to work together better.
Meetings can also end with a Check Out - which can also be structured in different ways:
- As an opportunity for group members to express how they are feeling "now" (after competing the meeting)
- As a means to evaluate the meeting (using any evaluation process suggested by the leader or facilitator)
The same guidelines apply to both Check In and Check Out.
Agenda & Minutes template
The Systems2win Agenda & Minutes template is a Word template that makes it easy to prepare an effective Agenda, and then document meeting minutes right on the same page - using color codes for discussion, decisions, assignments, and future topics.