1 min read

Checking In versus checking up on

checking in? (Or checking up on?)Now, more than ever folks need the flexibility to handle whatever's next. The bad news is, there's a lot that gets in the way of being able to pivot fast. Even if you can get your team past "That's the way we've always done it!" or "No more change, please, thank you!" you may find that something else is holding them back. And that something might be you.

That's right, the call might be coming from inside the house!

If you're sewing fear in your team, you're putting everybody's focus on pleasing you rather than staying agile and adjusting when needed. One place to start is asking yourself "Am I checking in? Or checking up on?"


Checking In? Or checking up on? What's the difference? 
Fundamentally, it boils down to the difference between asking "What do you need to succeed?" versus "What are you doing wrong?" When you can't observe folks at work, you might feel a nervous need to check up on them. Even with the best intentions, you may be making people more fearful and ultimately less willing to take risks, make decisions and take ownership of 'how' the work gets done


Checking In requires two-way trust. This starts with both parties presuming the best of the other. You can't control the minds of others (yet!) but you can take stock of how you're approaching the conversation. Don't presume you know intentions. Ask questions. Watch out for an accusatory tone. Show genuine curiosity. Start with trust, and over time, you'll gain theirs.


Do it now
At your next 1:1, take a moment to get into a Check - in mindset before the conversation. Put yourself at service of helping this person close the gap so they have what they need to succeed (even if that gap includes upping their performance) rather than being on the lookout for what's wrong.

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