Check-in and check-out are probably the most neglected processes in meetings, yet they can be very beneficial in shaping an effective conversation.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Check-in allows participants to share whatever is on their minds—whether related to the meeting or not. It serves the following purposes:
- Put distractions aside and focus on the conversation and each other
It does not matter whether the sharing is relevant to the meeting or not. The most important thing is to create the space for everyone to unload what they have on their mind at the moment. You may have noticed in the past that when something is on your mind, it’s harder to focus on the conversation or task at hand.
- Establish everyone’s presence by getting each voice in the room
Whether it’s a face-to-face conversation or a virtual meeting, it is valuable to get everyone’s voice in the room up front. This helps people feel more comfortable speaking up later in the meeting. While each person shares, everyone else listens and acknowledges each other’s presence, which helps build mutual trust and positive relationships.
- Get a sense of participant readiness and the 'feel' of the room
As a meeting facilitator or project leader, you don’t want to jump into a conversation without understanding where everyone is at. Check-in gives you a quick assessment about the emotions and thoughts in the room. This helps you adjust the way you facilitate the meeting so you can engage people in the conversation and make the most of your time together.
Check-in might not be a familiar way to start a meeting. Sometimes opening up and showing vulnerability can be seen as touchy-feely or a waste of time. To help you get started, view the article below. It provides tips on how to start using check ins that fit your organizational culture.
Check-out allows participants to contribute final thoughts related to the meeting, including ideas, questions or concerns that were not voiced, as well as reflections on the meeting process.
The check-out process is often neglected because teams usually run out of time. Saving those last few minutes for a check-out will minimize the risk of people walking away with confusion or concerns, which might have a negative impact. By including a brief check-out at the end of meeting, the team will bring the conversation to a proper close and increase the likelihood that everyone leaves the meeting on the same page.