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 <t-green>causes a connection, and often a fondness, that is a powerful foundation for lasting relationships.<t-green>”
Check-In Questions for Daily Stand-Ups
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:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Is there anything blocking your progress?
In our own stand-up meeting template, we include one more question about comfort level: How close are we to hitting our goals?
Project Check-In Questions
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:
- How will you measure success for your part of the project?
- Do you foresee any obstacles to producing your deliverables?
- What concerns do you have about the project?
- What excites you about this project?
- What do you need from me as a project manager in order to successfully complete this project?
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:
- What is working as expected? What is not?
- Is there anything we should not do, stop doing, or change?
- What are you doing that wasn’t planned? How does that affect your workload?
- How are changes you’ve implemented affecting the overall strategy?
- What can we do differently next time we have a project like this?
- What do you need to ensure this project’s continued success?
Check out our project check-in meeting template for more ideas.
Team Check-In Questions
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:
- Using a percentage, how full is your plate right now?
- What’s going well at work right now? What isn’t?
- How is your work-life balance this week?
- What’s something that brought you joy this month?
- Who is someone that inspired you this week?
- What’s a talent you have that you don’t use at work?
- What’s something that you do to relieve stress?
- What’s one thing you’d change about our organization?
- What’s your favorite thing about our team?
- If you could spend one workday a week working on whatever you wanted, what would it be?
One-on-One Check-In Questions
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:
- What have you been working on since we last met?
- What takes up most of your time?
- What milestones have you hit?
- What’s in your way to being more productive?
- How can I better support your work?
- What excites you about your work? What has you worried?
- How does your work here align with your career goals?
- How do you feel about your team?
- Do you have time to get the rest you need?
- Do you feel supported by leadership?
Check out our one-on-one meeting template for some more ideas.
Fun Questions to Use as Icebreakers
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:
- If you could only talk to one person for a whole week, and it had to be one of your colleagues, who would it be?
- If you had to work full-time for a month while located in the last place you vacationed, could you do it?
- What superpower would allow you to complete your work ten times faster?
- If you could invent an app that would help our organization in any way you want, what would your app do?
- If you listen to music while working, what kind of music is it?
- What’s something that made you laugh while working?
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.