Check-in / Check-out


Our gatherings are filled with a lot of different impressions and opportunities for learning. The influence these have on us depends on our current life situations and our context outside the gathering. Check-in and check-out processes are fundamental to the work we engage in and set the context for what we actually do. It’s a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. In gatherings, we also work closely with other individuals, and the quality of these connections is very important for overall development (Karp, 2010).

Check-in/out invites each member of a group to be present, seen, and heard.

Check-in represents the beginning of each day. It emphasizes presence, focus, and group commitment. The space we create as a group at the beginning of the gathering can have a huge impact on the quality of learning.

Check-out, on the other hand, emphasizes reflection and closure. Check-outs provide a chance to close off the day, practice sharing what is important for us at this moment, and connect the gathering to our day-to-day life.

So, shaping the questions in a thoughtful and purposeful manner increases the likelihood of them being powerful. So take some time and find the questions that work for you!


  • Meet each other as who we are right now and create compassion and understanding.

  • Improve your thought-clarity and awareness of our current state. What am I thinking and how can I communicate this to other people? What is important at this moment?

  • Anchor the learning we are going through and reflect on it. This leads to personal thoughts and the creation of mental nodes which makes it easier to remember.

  • Increase the transfer of learning from the context at the gathering to the context outside and the other way. How can you bring learning to your everyday life?


A safe and effective learning space where everyone can be present, seen and heard.


When preparing for a check-in/out session you want to think about:

  • Time. How much time do you have and how much safe space do you need for this day? Does the question invite a 3-5 min story from each or a word or two? A question like “Say a few words on how you are arriving today – what do you need to say to be fully present today” is another option that could lead to a shorter session.

  • Agenda. Can it connect and support the rest of the agenda and purpose of the gathering? Can it act like a warm-up or a reflection of the learning of the day?

  • Tone. What kind of tone do you want to create? Playful? Serious? Connecting? Learning something new about each other? Inviting something fun once in a while can be a welcome break from serious reflection. Examples: “the animal that represents my mood today", "my superhero power pose", or something else.




When meeting face-to-face, sit in a circle or "U" shape.

Choose a check-in question based upon context; the purpose of your session, the time you have and the group members. Crafting the check-in question is important. See the section "tips" for more... well... tips.

(5min) Reflect on the following questions (as an example):

  • What is present in your mind at this moment?

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are the main processes/events/people affecting you at the moment?

  • Do you have expectations or intentions for the day?


Share with your group when everyone is ready. One-by-one participants check-in, either in order around the circle or at random. Once every person has checked-in one time, check-in is over.



Stand or sit in a circle. Invite each member of the group to share one thing they “check-out” with. This could be a feeling, a reflection, the most important thing they take with them, what stands out the most, etc. Choose a check-out question based on the group and the purpose of the session.

(5 min) Answer the following questions (as an example):

  • What is present in my mind at this moment?

  • How am I feeling?

  • What am I in the process of learning? What am I in the process of learning about myself? In what way is this relevant in my day-to-day life?


One-by-one participants check-out either in order around the circle or at random. Once every person has checked-out one time, check-out is complete.

| References

Karp, Tom. 2010. Ledelse i Sannhetens Øyeblikk.

Last updated