Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Checking IN vs. CHECKING ON. Huge Difference April 28, 2011

I loved this month’s Harvard Business Review.  It’s all about productivity and how to create more of it for yourself and your team.  So here’s a fantastic quote that all managers should roll around in their head and do an honest self-assessment:  “Effective managers establish themselves as resources, making sure to CHECK IN on employees while never seeming to CHECK UP ON them.”  (The Power of Small Wins, http://www.hbr.org/).

Huge Difference w/ massive impact on people.  One word shifts, and the entire game shifts.  Choose to check in, and you play the advocate, fan, support.  Choose to check up on, and suddenly you are assuming your involvement to avert failure is needed. 

How do you think about it?  Every conversation we have follows a path based on our core thoughts.  So, thank God we get to chooseo our thoughts.  (If you don’t believe this – just practice.  Summon up a negative, recurrent thought you have, and replace it with a thought that is positive and powerful.  See – done.  You just created a thought shift.  With practice, you actually can create stickability with the new thought). 

What thoughts help create this CHECK IN style versus playing helicopter “parent/manager” over perfectly capable, intelligent professionals? 

 Here’s a list of starters.  You can add your own:

1)      My team has amazing talent, and I am fired up to witness them kill it on this project.   

2)      The greatest role I can play is to create space & momentum for awesome people to do awesome work. 

3)      I want my team to feel like this was 100% their win because 1) because they have the talent & know-how to score it independent of me, and 2) success creates confidence which leads to more success.   

Here’s another simple trick:  Before starting a conversation with a team member on the path towards great progress, ask yourself, “What’s the most important message I want this person to leave the convo with?”

 Check IN versus CHECK UP ON.  Pretty simple, huh?   (PS – This applies to parenting too.)

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One Response to “Checking IN vs. CHECKING ON. Huge Difference”

  1. Lucy Says:

    This repositions my efforts. It takes a ton of pressure off and replenishes with “what possibilities are” instead of what has to be done. Plus positions for joy. Hmmm, fathom that!


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