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What is a Check-In?

A check-in is a technique used at the beginning of a meeting to give everyone an opportunity to speak, and during meeting transitions to survey the group's current status. The simplest check-in is simply to ask each person how they are. There are many more specific check-in techniques, each developed for a specific meeting context.

All check-ins work to:

  • Increase participation: everyone starts by participating right up front, making it impossible to multi-task on other work.
  • Get all voices heard: everyone participates equally, helping reduce issues created when meeting with people of unequal social status, job level, or dominant/passive personalities.
  • Set the tone: the question asked during the check-in frames the mood for the following conversation.
  • Build trust and/or shared understanding: as people listen to each other's individual responses, learning more about the group and what they each share in common.
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