The 6-Week Cycles book is a guide that helps teams work for 6-weeks, then take off for 2. BUT! It’s not as simple as just marking 2 weeks off in your calendar. Working this way requires that your team learns to excel in communication. One of the cornerstone communication methods is the weekly check out meeting.
I have my friend Angela Vitzthum to thank for telling me about this idea. Over four years ago, I implemented these weekly check out meetings for my team.
With them, we saw incredible growth in interpersonal communication, empathy, and an improvement to our overall culture. It became our favorite meeting — which, we didn’t even know we could have “favorite meetings.”
A team member we had never met in person, who worked in South Africa said, “I look forward to these meetings, which isn’t something people normally say.”
Every Friday afternoon hold a check out meeting
No one needs to prepare anything for this meeting; they just need to show up and talk about what went well vs. what didn’t go well. That’s …that’s it. JUST do this one thing, and I guarantee you’ll see absolutely incredible results amongst your team.
How to run a check out meeting
The group leader sets a timer on their phone for 2 minutes. During that time, each person writes down things that went well that week. These don’t all have to be monumental accomplishments, just…what are those small wins you’re taking away from the week. After they’ve written them down, each person goes through one at a time and reads their list to the group.
Try to limit your group to no more than five people. For us, a 5-person check out meeting would take approximately 90 minutes as we all grew more comfortable with each other.
Once that is complete, the group leader sets another timer for 2 minutes. This time, everybody writes down what didn’t go well that week. Then again, go one person at a time and share that with everybody.
These are low-stress, culture building meetings. They’re relaxed, there isn’t any pressure, and there is nothing to prepare. It’s also very personal.