Use Check In to begin meetings or anytime an individual or group Check In would add more value to the current team interactions.


  1. Speaker says “I feel [one or more of MAD, SAD, GLAD, AFRAID].” Speaker may provide a brief explanation. Or if others have already checked in, the speaker may say “I pass.” (See the Pass protocol.)
  2. Speaker says “I’m in.” This signifies that Speaker intends to behave according to the Core Commitments.
  3. Listeners respond, “Welcome.”


  • State feelings without qualification.
  • State feelings only as they pertain to yourself.
  • Be silent during another’s Check In.
  • Do not refer to another’s Check In disclosures without explicitly granted permission from him or her.


  • In the context of the Core Protocols, all emotions are expressed through combinations of MAD, SAD, GLAD, or AFRAID. For example, “excited” may be a combination of GLAD and AFRAID.
  • Check In as deeply as possible. Checking in with two or more emotions is the norm. The depth of a group’s Check In translates directly to the quality of the group’s results.
  • Do not do anything to diminish your emotional state. Do not describe yourself as a “little” mad, sad, glad, or afraid or say “I’m mad, but I’m still glad.”
  • Except in large groups, if more than one person checks in, it is recommended that all do so.
  • HAPPY may be substituted for GLAD, and SCARED may be substituted for AFRAID.

Copyright © 2010 Jim and Michele McCarthy

(The Core is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. For exact terms see The Core is considered as source code under that agreement. You are free to use and distribute this work or any derivations you care to make, provided you also distribute this source document in its entirety, including this paragraph.)