The Field Guide to Leading Teams

19/26A short check-in is a good sign.

If your team starts sending brief check-ins after a history of long, verbose ones, don’t worry. This is actually a good sign that you’re headed in the right direction.

Upon receiving your first series of seemingly “curt” check-ins you might be worried that people are upset with you, that they’re tuning you out, or any myriad of other bad team dynamics. The truth is that people focused on a task at hand want to keep moving on that task – not write you a treatise on the state of their work.

Well-protected, properly-nurtured teams understand their productivity will show up in the end when they achieve their goal. If you start getting long, meandering updates it probably means you need to reassure your team that you’re all heading in the right direction.

Best Practices

  • You need to put some thought into your check-ins, but each update shouldn't take more than two minutes.
  • Communicate just enough information to keep your team apprised of your progress.
  • 1-2 goals (not tasks) each day