Have you experienced workshops or team meetings in which people immediately go straight to the agenda and start working through the agenda items? This can be a natural energy killer and often makes the start of a meeting rather tedious.

A well-chosen check-in before the actual content work allows the participants to “get in” and fully engage with the workshop. Using appropriate questions is a deliberate method not necessarily aimed at the workshop content but rather at organizing thoughts and improving collaboration. At the same time, a well-designed check-in brings momentum to the event and significantly contributes to creating a good atmosphere right from the start.

Various check-in question techniques can be used to get a meeting off to a good start. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Open questions: Open questions allow participants to share their thoughts and feelings. Some examples: “Today was perfect for me…”, “The following has become particularly important to me in the last few days.”, “You can always make me happy with this…”.
  • Scaling questions: Participants rate their individual energy or focus level on a scale of 1 to 10 and briefly describe it. This can help to get a feel for the current mood and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Reflective questions: These are questions that encourage participants to think about their current thoughts or feelings. For example: “What are you particularly proud of in terms of what has already been achieved on this topic?” “What has kept you most busy since then?”, “What is the biggest challenge for this meeting/ project?”
  • Targeted questions: Ask about the participants’ goals and expectations for the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page. For example: “What do you want to achieve today?”, “Which topics are vital to you?”

Check-in question techniques are important because they:

  • create a trusting and open atmosphere where participants feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
  • Promote collaboration and communication by ensuring everyone is focused on the meeting and can voice their concerns or expectations.
  • Increase the effectiveness of the meeting by helping to minimize distractions and keep participants focused on the common goals and tasks.

Overall, check-in questions are an effective tool for promoting the success of workshops. They help to build relationships, focus on the workshop goal, create an atmosphere of trust, promote active listening, and increase the energy and motivation of the participants.

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