The greater clarity we have about the purpose and intention of the overall work and the process we are choosing to use, the greater the likelihood of crafting a question that does exactly the work we intend it to do. Check-in and check-out processes are used very intentionally and in all kinds of settings to improve meetings
Check-in and check-out processes are not just frivolous time wasters in our meetings. Check in and check out moment are extremely important in meetings and gatherings. Check-in are times where the individuals bond and align and set the stage for future interaction, Check-out times are moments where the group close the interaction and individuals go back to their routine.
If these processes are neglected the interaction won’t be harmonious Wicked questions help shape powerful processes. The shaping of questions in a thoughtful, purposeful and intentional manner increases the likelihood of them being powerful. Sometimes we don’t even use words but invite a physical movement or embodiment check-in. Sometimes it is music. It is whatever fits well with the overall theme and flow of the day and brings us fully into the space.
In a check-out we may want to presume in a certain direction, plant a seed – “What is shifting for you as a result of your experiences in this day?” “What spark are you carrying forward?” Or we may want to take a little pulse – “What’s alive for you now?” “What one thing has your attention?” And, like the check-in process, sometimes we are not wanting to use words. Sometimes we use dance, embodiment, other physical movement, a series of claps or other imaginative ways to close our conversation or our day.
How people are feeling can actually be essential information for conducting a good meeting. If someone is feeling tired, sick or overwhelmed, it is important to mention it during check-ins. Here’s a story that emphasizes this point:
Recently on the second day of two-day-long leadership team meeting I was facilitating, an executive chose not to say in the check-in that he had been up since 3 am with a toothache. So his clinched jaw, contorted facial muscles, and sharp speech were interpreted by many of his peers as, “He’s not happy with where this conversation is going. He’s angry.” Obviously those interpretations had an impact on the meeting, and not a good one. Had he mentioned in the check-in that he was exhausted and in pain, his peers and boss could have interpreted his non-verbal behavior more accurately. Though such vulnerable shares can be hard for more private people, and especially leaders, they can be essential to truly productive meetings. In this case, a private conversation with me during the break helped him shift his state to engage more constructively in the last half of the morning. source: http://groupaya.net/a-simple-tool-for-better-meetings/
It is by pausing to connect with the people we live and work with every day that we can most effectively come together as a group to achieve our shared goals. That is the true power of check-ins. It’s really just a collective way to say “Hello”, “I’m here”, and “I care” before you go about your business.