To help you show up for yourself as well as others, we created this guide to help you structure your Checkin. This might alleviate any awkward moments, racing against the clock, or feelings of uneasiness/unsatisfaction afterward. It’s not a requirement to follow this to the letter, but we believe that making an effort will allow you to get the most out of the 20 minutes.
If you’re more of a visual/audio learner, we have the information in a short video guide as well.
Let’s think about a Checkin in three parts:
Beginning - Start easy.
When you first join a Checkin it’s nice to greet and get to know each other. You can use small talk to ease each other into the conversation. Some examples:
“Thanks for making time for me today!”
“How’s the weather where you are?”
This could naturally lead to the main topic of conversation, but if it doesn’t it’s good to ask the question, “What made you want to Checkin with me?” This allows the conversation to move forward while staying on eye level and while giving the opportunity for the other person to decide what they want to share.
Try to avoid asking questions like, “How can I help you?” or “What is your problem?” Not only are these questions negative and could put someone in a bad headspace, but they also put you in a more authoritative position, whereas a Checkin should be an open conversation for both parties.
Middle - Listen and share.
Now you’ve gotten to the point where you’re conversing about one of the topics, the main thing to do here is to listen!
As one person is sharing, the other should be giving them their full attention.
A good way to show that you’re listening is to repeat back what you’ve heard. For example, “so what I hear you saying is that you’re feeling burnt out and unheard at work.”
Another way is to ask clarifying questions, “What do you mean when you say __?” as well as let them know how something has made you feel, “When you said __ I felt __.”
Remember to share mindfully. Some topics can be heavy and include details that be overwhelming or triggering for yourself and the other person. Take note of if you’re monopolizing the conversation or cutting others off as they speak.
End - Wrap up.
You don’t want to abruptly end the conversation on the high point, as it can be jarring when you come back to your surroundings.
Take the last 5 minutes to conclude your conversation and express gratitude. You can also use this time to plan your next Checkin.
If it's hard for you to wrap up because the other person is sharing something or tends to go over time, you can try taking note of the time like, “I see we only have 5 minutes left” and asking a question like, "Should we Checkin again next week?”