The meeting is wrapping up. Agendas and handouts are re-organized, laptops shut, bags and coats grabbed. The Board Chair states, ‘I want to go around the room and check-in with each person.’ She looks to her left and makes eye contact with the board member seated next to her. The board member replies, ‘good meeting.’ The next board member nods and then adds, ‘I would like to know more about how we select the firm that performs our audit.’ The third person to the left of the Board Chair states, ‘I still have questions about the draft contract we reviewed to engage the marketing firm.’ A few heads nod. The Executive Director starts to respond but the Board Chair assures everyone more details will be forthcoming. And the process continues as each attendee is given the opportunity to share. Some provide a thumbs up to signal all is well. Others reflect on the momentum of the organization’s growth. One individual alerts the group that they will be traveling next month an unable to attend the next meeting. The check-in takes just a few minutes. The meeting is adjourned and everyone scatters to their next commitment.
The act of the check-in, a moment of reflection, community catch-up or whichever term you choose is powerful. It provides a platform for each individual to share that which is most pressing, concerning, or might be helpful for the good of the order. Facilitators often use this technique when working with groups. What would it look like if a check-in was the final act of your next board or committee meeting? What would it feel like as a board member to share a final reflection or acknowledge an uncertainty?