A Check-in TeamA simple template for a Men's group
What is a check-in team?
A small gathering of men that meets periodically where every person is given time (usually 15-20 mins) to check-in with the group.
Why join a check-in team?
It's a source of community and support. It is an avenue for connection.
It feels meaningful to be in support of other people.
It will help you identify and work through your issues.
It gives you permission to open up. Sharing vulnerably adds depth to connection.
Regular check-in's allow you to experience the arc of peoples lives.
To have invitation to share victories and be celebrated.
You can learn more about yourself by trying to get the experience of being the other men.
It has the potential to become a meaningful thing in your life.
Who would a be a good canidate for a check-in team?
Someone who is drawn to this idea.
Someone who can commit to showing up regularly.
Someone who is committed to paying attention. You will spend much more time listening then sharing.
The ideal size of a team is 6 to 9 men, so that the average meeting size will be 5 people.
A team that is comprised of people who you implicitly trust is most likely to succeed. They do not need to be people whom you know well.
When and where does a team meet
The team will gather periodically - ideally once a month - to check in with each other. The expectation is that people will arrive on-time.
A meeting typically runs 2-3 hours, where every man gets approximately 15 minutes of dedicated time.
Someone will be designated time keeper, and is responsible for making sure everyone knows when they are starting to run short of time, and then end the check-in. It is best to try to end early to give time for reflections from the rest of the team. Check-ins can run a little long, but anything over 2 minutes will usually be cutoff unless the team decides to extend time.
It is up to the group to determine where a meeting is held. In my check-in team, we rotate who hosts the meeting. Some people have better spaces and environments to host gatherings than others.
We have a Signal group for group communcation. We use this for logistics as well as banter in-between meetings.
How do you check-in at a meeting?
When you are checking in, you will have the full attention of the team. You have permission to share about topics that are often not explored in casual conversation. For example: things that you are proud of, places where you are struggling, and moments when you had shame. Show up as you actually are. The more authentically you show up, the richer your experience will be.
Everything said at during the check-in is confidential to the group, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Simplify as much background story as you can. Context is important, but the goal is for people to get your world as it is now. The heart of the matter is what most relevant, how you got there often uses up too much of your check in time
During someone else’s check in, you should try to get the experience of being the man who's talking. To the best of your ability deeply feel, appreciate, and try to understand the world through his eyes. This is called “holding space.” Withhold your instinct to give advice. Ask clarifying questions, and only give reflections when invited to. It is consistently reflected how valuable it is to have the team's full attention.
When a man is finished with his checkin, the rest of team is usually invited to give reflections. Reflections are not advice. A reflection is more about the impact of the checkin on the rest of the team. The intention of a reflection is to use words, feelings, and metaphors to hold up a mirror to a person being checked in, as accurately as possible.