If a meeting is entirely about "checking in," it's probably a waste of time.
Still, there are a variety of check-ins that are helpful when included as a small part of a larger meeting purpose. The right check-in questions can quickly elicit necessary updates, establish team camaraderie, and keep everyone up to speed on the moving parts of a complex project.
If you want the check-in portion of your meeting to be useful, this post is for you. In it, we’ll cover check-in questions for meetings of all types, including daily stand-ups, project meetings, one-on-ones, icebreakers, and team meetings.
“Asking someone to share their experiences, their insight, or their passions with you causes a connection, and often a fondness, that is a powerful foundation for lasting relationships.”
Daily stand-up meetings, also known as a daily scrum, huddle, or roll call, are very short meetings (usually kept under 15 minutes) where each team member shares critical, high-level information about their work for the day.
These quick morning meetings prevent important knowledge from slipping through the cracks and help maintain forward motion on projects. They’re especially popular with development teams.
The three check-in questions for daily stand-ups most organizations use are:
In our own stand-up meeting template, we include one more question about comfort level: How close are we to hitting our goals?
When managing a project, the right questions can mean the difference between identifying potential hurdles during initiation and planning, or tripping right over them in execution. Once a project is off the ground, progress check-ins ensure they run as smoothly as possible.
Some project check-in questions for meetings during the early stages of planning include:
According to research, the more you ask questions, the better you get at asking them
Once a project moves into execution and beyond, consider changing the line of questioning to:
Check out our project check-in meeting template for more ideas.
The best team meetings celebrate wins, provide data and updates, and produce useful action items. The right team check-in questions can bring the team together and draw out important information at the same time in a 2-for-1 meeting win.
Here are some check-in questions for weekly team meetings and even bigger meetings where the whole team comes together:
Quality one-on-one meetings strengthen relationships, identify blocks to team members’ success, and maintain ongoing realignment with priorities.
While these meetings must be carefully conducted so they don’t fall into the trap of becoming casual and/or unproductive, good one-on-one meeting questions can ensure you get the information you need.
"A beautiful question is an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something—and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change."
Questions like that may include:
Check out our one-on-one meeting template for some more ideas.
Icebreakers, good ones at least, are everyone’s favorite way to start a meeting off on the right foot. If you’re looking to leverage your icebreakers in a way that doubles as a check-in, we’ve got your back.
Here are some fun check-in questions that double as icebreakers:
Whether breaking the ice or checking on project status, check-in questions have their place when used well. Make sure your meetings have a larger purpose, and let these questions draw out new levels of nuance about team dynamics and productivity.
Check-in questions can feel like small talk about the beginning of meetings, but they don’t have to be meaningless. When collaborating remotely, these questions can help build rapport within your team and can provide an outlet for connection if people are feeling lonely working from home.
The people joining you in your meeting have just finished a long or stressful meeting. Asking a quick question at the beginning of your meeting can help reset and focus on your meeting.
If you discover in check-in questions that someone is having a rough week, it may help guide decisions later in your meeting. Having this extra context can help improve the productivity of your meetings.
Quick check-ins at the beginning of the call can help just remind everyone that they are working with other humans, and can build connections if people have similar answers. When you’re leading a call and you ask check-in questions, it can show your attendees that you care about them as people, and not just as employees.
It’s easy, especially with video calls, for people to remain silent for most of the meeting. When everyone gets to answer a quick question at the beginning of the call, it can help everyone establish their presence in the meeting.
Great check-in questions have a few things in common. Here are a few ways to make sure your questions are impactful and productive:
Skip-level meeting questions to build rapport, gather feedback, and identify top performers.
How to run effective team meetings — including agenda examples, best practices, and other critical meeting tips.