The value of checking-in!

The work of leaders is to pay attention

Where a team leader checks in with each team member once per week then engagement levels for team members are 13% higher.  Where a team leader checks in only once per month engagement levels are 5% lower*.

A check-in does not need to be very long and consists of two key questions: what are your current priorities? And, how can I help?  With this frequency the leader can provide tips or ideas or coaching to solve real world problems that the team member is facing.  Less frequent and check-ins become more and more about generalities.

Frequency creates safety - I am clearer about where I am and what I need to do next, I am not anxious about what I am supposed to be doing.

Frequency also trumps quality. I may not be the world’s best coach but if I keep doing it, I will likely get better, in any case I am increasing my team’s engagement.  Even the world’s best coach won’t go far if the check-ins are infrequent.

*quoted in Nine lies about work and based on Cisco data analysis 2017

Mirmande by Grace Crowley, 1928

Mirmande by Grace Crowley, 1928

If this is true for teams then why would this not be true in the classroom?  Formative assessment has the same function as the check-in.  What are you working on now and how I can I help you in taking the next steps?  Frequency matters, it builds safety and engagement and improves performance over time.

I hear people say, I don’t have time to check-in with my team one-on-one or with each of my students on a weekly basis.

Yet, that is the work of a leader and an educator in the modern world - paying attention to their people.



John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.  Earlier blogs can be found here.

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John Corrigan