This checkin activity enables the facilitator to verify if he could carry the following activities by asking the participants to read their own notes. At times, some participants wants to bring up a point, but do not want to start the conversation about it. This activity enables the participant to signal this intention.
Running the activity
1. Write down the following sentence on the board: Are you ok reading your note out loud?
2. Explain that you will ask them to write down a few notes on the following activity, and you want to check that everyone is comfortable reading out their notes.
3. Instruct the participants to write an Y or N on a post it and fold it. Y for yes, N for no I don’t feel comfortable reading some of the notes I will bring up today.
4. Collect the notes anonymously and place them on the board
5. Share the results with the group
In case there is at least one N the facilitator should not carry an activity that requires the participants to read their notes out loud. Otherwise he is free to ask participants to read their noted before placing on the board, or even ask openly: who wrote this note?
I have participated on several retrospectives. And it is really embarrassing when a facilitator asks who wrote something and no one answers. Or even worse, when a facilitator asks someone to read a note, and the participant was not aware he was not going to anonymously place the note on the board. This quick checkin activity help avoiding these situations.