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Subject:Note-taking From:"George F. Hayhoe" <george -at- GHAYHOE -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 14 May 1998 09:48:41 -0400
I've found a lot of advantages to serving as note-taker at meetings.
There's no better way to understand a problem or a project than to grapple
with the task of producing meeting minutes. And I'm not talking about a "he
said/she said" transcript but rather a document that makes sense of what is
sometimes hours of rants, rambles, and occasional bits of invaluable ore
buried in the dross. This is MOST definitely a communication task!
Also, if you're a lone writer in an organization or a tech comm manager,
there's no better way to forecast upcoming projects (and thus the need for
interface design, paper and online documentation, training, etc.) than to
read between the lines while attending meetings and then preparing such a
summary. I've found it a better tool for predicting future needs for
services than what is typically found in most organizations' schedules
because the schedules don't get updated frequently enough.
In my last "captive" job, I was regularly asked to sit in on the quarterly
day-long meetings of the department's top management and produce a 2-page
summary. And they didn't want me just to sit on the sidelines with my laptop
while they talked. My contributions were expected and valued.
As a bonus, it was also a nice role reversal to have my boss (who was a
management level below those who attended the meeting) stop by my cube the
next day to find out what was going on!