An opening exercise that can be used to share participants’ expectations of the workshop and as an icebreaker to get everyone to introduce themselves
A. As a facilitator, you will have an opportunity to understand the participants’ expectations, and it will be clear to you which expectations you are likely to be able to fulfil and which may be more difficult.
B. Focus your attention on the relevant and most realistic expectations and make it clear that the workshop may not live up to everyone’s expectations.
C. overview of their expectations and can be used later during the day or at the end of the day to see if their expectations have been met
Required Material: None
Briefly illustrate the exercise by telling the participants that, before starting a journey, you often start with a check-in. The process/workshop can also be viewed as a journey that needs to be checked in to before starting.
Make sure to tell the participants that there are no right or wrong answers to the check-in. It is only a check-in to enhance understanding and focus on expectations and the theme of the workshop/seminar.
The participants place themselves in the middle of the room and form a circle.
The facilitator asks one to two questions which the participants can relate to.
The question can vary depending on the process. But most of the time, check-in is used to share current thoughts and expectations.
You can ask:
“What do you hope to get out of the day/workshop?”
“What is the most important reason for your participation today?”
“Tell us of two things you want answered during the day”
The facilitator stands in the circle, too, and starts the exercise by checking in first.
No participant should spend more than 1 minute on checking in. The person who checks in takes one step into the circle and forms a new inner circle. When everyone is done checking in, a new inner circle will have been formed.
There is no particular order, the participants can step in whenever they feel like it.
As the participants are checking in, you can use a small ball which the participants throw to each Other. The person who catches the ball is the one who checks in. With this variation, you can create a flow.
After checking in ask, the participants to write their answers down on a board/post-it to create an overview which can be used later during the day or at the end of the day.
After the check-in you can briefly comment on some of the expectations by noting which ones will be focused on during the day.