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Take Social Notes

If you’re normal, you think that because you’re noting everything important that’s said and agreed in a meeting that you’re taking notes in the most effective way. But the normal way of doing it is a drag. It misses one of the greatest kicks that note-taking can give a team.

In every meeting, someone should be taking public notes. If they’re entering notes into a computer, then the notes should be displayed on a screen. If it’s a conference call, then a shared internet-based screen should be employed.

When people see the output of a meeting take shape before their very eyes, the reinforcement works wonders. Soon, people begin to play a game together of getting their best ideas up on that board. They work to improve the meeting output in real time. Instead of collecting problems, they fashion solutions.

The principle is pretty simple. Recognition is reward. Most of us learned a bit about behavioral conditioning in our school days. We know that behaviors that are rewarded tend to increase. We know that the sooner the reward comes after the desired behavior, the better it works. Well, people like to see their ideas have an impact. They like to know they are heard and understood.

Imagine how much better this works than a group of people throwing their thoughts up into the air and suspecting that much of what they say has not even been heard. Or if heard, not registered. Or if registered, not quite gotten right. Or if gotten right, then never to be read or seen again. Or if seen again, not by the person or people from whom the individual most wants recognition. And perhaps credit will go to someone else, as it often does.

That which happens out of sight encourages paranoia, which leads to acting out in some and retreat or depression in others. That which happens in the light is encouraging and reassuring. It speeds up the progress of a team. So, in every meeting, have the note taker take notes in public. It works.