Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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The Lost Art of Note-Taking

May 1st, 2005 · 1 Comment

Working Smart (Michael Hyatt) writes about his style of taking notes which almost mirrors mine. He also outlines the rationale:

1. Note-taking enables you to stay engaged. The real benefit is not what happens after the meeting but during the meeting itself. If I dont take notes, my mind wanders. I daydream. As they say, the lights are on, but no one is home. However, when I take notes, I find that I stay more alert, focused, and actively involved. My contribution to the meeting is thus more likely to add value to the topic under discussion. This is why I take notes even if someone is officially taking minutes.

2. Note-taking provides a mechanism for capturing your ideas, questions, and commitments. Not everything can be resolved in the meeting. Some ideas require incubation. Questions require further research. Commitments require follow-up that cannot be done until after the meeting. Regardless, note-taking provides a way to capture the content of the meeting, so that I can processes it after the meeting.

3. Note-taking communicates the right things to the other attendees. When someone takes notes, it communicates to everyone else that they are actively listening. It also communicates that what others are saying is importantit is worth making the effort to record their insights. If you are in a leadership position, it also subtly establishes accountability. Your people think, If the boss is writing it down, he probably intends to follow-up. I better pay attention. As a leader, your example speaks volumes. If you take notes, your people will likely take notes. If you dont, it is likely they wont.

Tags: Management

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