Bimbo Banter

Notes, Notes, Notes

  • Wildcard
  • August 31, 2015
  • by Merrie Spaeth

08 31 15 notes notes notes

Recently at a meeting, I was chastised for taking notes. “You aren’t paying attention,” I was told. On the contrary, that’s exactly what I was doing.

Taking notes is my way of embedding information into my brain as well as capturing all the facts and nuances of what was said. My stream-of-consciousness notes will also include questions – “?? Check on this. Doesn’t seem right.” – or action items like “Ask Emily to follow up.” Further, because we work as a team on most client matters, expansive notes let me share with my colleagues what’s happening.

We do a significant amount of team coaching, that is, two or more of us team up to help an executive or promising manager improve his communication, leadership and performance skills. This lets us schedule sessions or calls at the client’s convenience and gives the client the benefit of a broader range of creative critique and suggestions.

More and more people are taking notes on laptops, tablets and phones. There is a school of thought that handwritten notes are better. UCLA professor Daniel Oppenheimer and Princeton’s Pam Mueller just wrote a paper, “The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard.” They argue that when a writer takes notes by hand and has to rephrase and summarize what a speaker said, they internalize the material more effectively. I don’t argue with the learned professors, but they’ve never seen my handwriting.

Lawyers sometimes hate notes because they can be discoverable in litigation. That’s true, and for us, the solution is sometimes to take copious notes – and then delete them or not file them. We always listen to lawyers – but we’re still big fans of notes.

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