The power of the ‘check in’

Have you checked in with those around you? As a leader or a business owner, the ‘check in’ could be a missing link in your workplace.

In our recent coaching programs, we saw again and again that people felt hurt and unimportant because their boss/leader had not checked in with them.  This included people in high level executive positions working incredibly hard in challenging times, saying ‘they didn’t even check in with me’.

What was also disheartening and sad was that some of the leaders who were complained about, had little or no awareness about their lack of checking in.  In fact, some thought they were doing a great job of this.

We are seeing a significant missing link.  The conflict between how much people feel they need check ins and how little it is being done. This issue has been such a concern to my business partner, Robyn Mercer and I, that we have started including information about ‘checking in’, into our workplace programs, specifically, what to do, how to do it and how often.

Here are some quick tips.

  • Check in when there has been change, busyness, a worldwide pandemic, or people seem different, sad, struggling, less motivated, or overwhelmed.
  • Check in when people seem to be doing well, doing great work, working hard and achieving.
  • Check in regularly, ideally at least once a week, even for 5 minutes. Vary the time, make sure some check ins are longer and more comprehensive.
  • Ask people how regularly they would like a check in and how it would work for them. If they give you clear information, ensure you follow through. If not, suggest ‘how about we just do a little bit of a check in every week or fortnight, would that work for you?’
  • A check in sounds like: ‘How are you doing?’ ‘How have you been managing since that meeting?’ ‘You have been doing so much hard work responding to the Covid challenges, how is it all going?’  ‘What’s been going well this last week?’  ‘What’s been challenging?’  ‘Is there anything I can support you with?’ ‘How is the team going?’ ‘I know these are challenging times, how are you managing with so many demands on you?’
  • A quality check in, is specific, genuine, expresses interest in the practical day to day, looks at what support is needed and refers to recent relevant events, situations, challenges and achievements to ensure things are okay.

Regular check ins, give this message to your people, ‘I value you, I care, I see you and I will support you’ and that’s what we all need in life and work.

Who could you check in with today?


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