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Using Check-In Questions to Promote Well-Being
Wellness Champions use prompts to check-in during meetings, team huddles, hand-offs, etc. Learn this simple way to help your team reconnect to purpose, be more engaged, focused, and cohesive.
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sing prompts to check-in during meetings, team huddles, hand-offs, etc. is a simple way to help each other reconnect to purpose, be more present and focused, connect to each other, and be more engaged at work. Checking-in also creates time and space to process events and experiences in a helpful, adaptive way.

How to lead a check-in

There is no one way to do a check-in. Here is a simple format that works for most circumstances.

Have every person check-in one by one. This tends to work well if the group is smaller than 14 people or if you have ample time to check-in.

Have the group break-up into pairs or groups of 3-4 people and converse for 5-10 minutes. This works well for groups consisting of 15+ individuals. When the whole group comes back together, you can

  • request for a few people to share
  • ask for highlights from each group
  • ask what it was like to connect this way for a few minutes

Script for introducing a check-in

Let’s do a check-in.

The prompt for today is _________________ (choose from the list below).

Everyone pause for a moment to think of your response and what you would want to share with each other. Please remember that you do not have to check-in and can simply say “pass” when it’s your turn.

Sample check-in questions (prompts)

  • What is a high and a low from the day?
  • Share one thing that is going on in your life (personal or professional.)
  • What is one thing that went well (yesterday, during your shift, etc.)?
  • Share a moment of awe (from yesterday, during your shift, etc.). A moment of awe is when you experience that feeling like you’re a part of something bigger (e.g., looking at the stars, being part of a care team, your favorite team winning right at the buzzer, teaching something to a child, etc.)
  • What is one thing that you are grateful for right now?
  • What is one thing you are going to do for yourself (during your shift, after you leave, etc.)?
  • Give a shout out to yourself and a shout out to someone on the team.
  • Share one best thing and one hard thing that happened (yesterday, during your shift, etc.).
  • What is something funny that happened (yesterday, during your shift, this week, etc.)? It sounds odd but there’s a lot of research on the benefits of healthy humor.
  • What is something that you want to remember or remind yourself during your shift/ workday today?
  • What is one thing that is currently giving you hope?

Download a print copy of this script, questions and step-by-step guide.

Facilitation suggestions

Be sure to note the context of the situation and the general mood of the room. You want to ensure that your check-in question fits with current circumstances.

Note what kind of experience you want the group to have with the check-in. Is it time to be silly, inspired, grateful, etc.?

Consider how much time you have for the check-in and what parameters you need to set in order for the group to participate. For instance, you can use the prompts,

  • “in one or two words…”
  • “In one or two sentences….”
  • “Taking a couple of minutes each…”

4 Tips from the experts

Tip 1: Use supportive prompts. As the check-in facilitator, you can use emotion coaching to respond to each participant (e.g., “Sounds like that was really meaningful.”). A simple “thank you for sharing” can also go a long way.

Tip 2: Order keeps it organized. It is usually more efficient to go around the room in a certain direction or call on people to share than wait for people to chime in.

Tip 3: Keep it relevant. Remind people to share stories that are appropriate for work and their work colleagues.

Tip 4: Keep it professional. Politely interrupt people who are oversharing or getting too personal. Follow-up with them individually.

References:

  1. Psychological First Aid For Your Team | (Accelerate 2020) The Resiliency Center’s Megan Call and Amy Locke share helpful resources and list of prompts to connect your team.
  2. The Effective Communicator: Add Meaning To Your Meetings | (Accelerate 2019) Is a more meaningful meeting possible? Isaac Holyoak teams up with Megan Call of the Resiliency Center to help you start your meetings right.
  3. Check-In and Check-Out Questions (Hyper Island Toolbox) Step-by-step beginner facilitation guide for groups 2-40+.
Contributors

Megan Call

Licensed psychologist, Associate Director of the Resiliency Center, University of Utah Health

Trinh Mai

LCSW, Mindfulness Educator & Social Worker with the Resiliency Center & Wellness & Integrative Health, University of Utah Health

Megan Jean Whitlock

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Resiliency Center, University of Utah Health

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