Time to change your business meeting note taking style?
Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:51AM
Bill Burgar in Advice

Taking a look at a few blogs and the comments it seems to me that many people are missing the point of note taking in meetings. 

There seems to be great emphasis on remembering the content of meetings. Considerable numbers of people are re-writing notes after meetings in order to help remember the content of the meeting. This thinking strikes me as rather bizarre because it is at odds with what meetings are generally for. If this is the way people are approaching meetings no wonder so many people hate them. Certainly re-writing notes afterwards is a terrible waste of time.

The whole point of meetings is to get stuff done that you can't do on your own. Whether it is communicating ideas, making decisions or solving problems meetings should always be about doing things, getting work done. 

So where does this idea of having to remember the content of meetings come from? Education. Our education system is based on the idea of taking notes in order to remember things that will be useful later. That's all fine for education but as soon as you step into the work place those kind of note taking skills are no longer appropriate. What you need is action oriented note taking. The notes are your memory. You don't need to waste time memorising anything. Notes only need be sufficient for the task. i.e. document decisions and why they were made, document who is responsible for doing which tasks.

So if you are taking notes the same way now as you were in school or university, take a careful look at your goals in meetings and consider how you can change your style to one more appropriate for the work place.


Article originally appeared on Meeting Gold (http://meetinggold.co.uk/).
See website for complete article licensing information.