A study to establish ways in which employees’ waste time at work concluded that too many meetings were the biggest time-waster. Most workers will try remembering the proceedings of the meeting but will end up forgetting most of the things they learned, especially if they don’t take notes. If you want your meetings to work, you have to set a clear objective, prepare the agendas, and invite interested people only. However, these strategies alone will not be useful if you do not send out notes. If no one documents the decisions, then you must get ready to schedule another meeting to talk about the same agendas. Here are five reasons why you should write notes in a meeting instead of memorizing.
1. Helps in Remembering
When your team decides on a way forward or finds an issue, it is crucial that you write it down so that everyone can remember. You can even switch up the note taking responsibility so that others can have an opportunity to create a memory by writing. With a written record, it is easier to refer in case of an issue in the future. You will also eliminate the possibility of scheduling another meeting or re-asking the same questions.
For a productive meeting, you should only include people who require the information. This strategy will save others time by excusing them from unnecessary meetings. However, some people may feel left out, or one of the members may fail to attend for one reason or another. In such a case, taking notes and making them available can help everyone to stay informed.
3. Focus on Results
A productive meeting should focus on results. When members make a decision and write it down, it becomes “real.” A written problem demands more attention than an easy to forget issue raised by word of mouth. If you document a step forward and assign it to someone, they feel indebted, and members expect to have it done. If you achieve results, document them to send the “result matter” message to the team.
4. Strong Agreements
You have probably made an agreement that you do not intend to keep. In a meeting where people are running from one agenda to another, it may be difficult to distinguish a “sincere yes” from a “just-for-the-sake yes.” A written agreement will allow members to commit themselves to deliver their promise. Allow everyone to have access to the written agreement to create social pressure and help the decision to stick.
5. Build Trust
Apart from making everyone accountable, note taking encourages people to contribute, be professional, and respectful at work. When you document meeting proceedings, you send a “team” message which builds trust among the employees. Listening to someone and writing what he or she says shows them that their contribution matters. Having such a meeting will strengthen the feeling of mutual trust and allow everyone to contribute without feeling intimidated.
Now that you understand the importance of note taking in a meeting, it is time you make sure you have the right writing material. Look for customized notebooks for your team to make it easy for them to document any decision made in every meeting.