Some of our meetings are not perfect. The plan is often missing. After leaving the meeting, it is unclear what the purpose was and what has become established. Meetings often don’t go as we would expect.
You have two options in your situation. You can do so far or try a new approach to meetings. I suggest one simple change: take notes during the meeting.
You may find that you are more involved and have a better understanding of the topic at hand. It’s important to understand the topic first, to make a good summary. It forces effective participation in the meeting and following the discussion.
There should no longer be situations when nobody knows what to do after leaving a meeting. Remember to not rely on your brain only. It won’t remember everything anyway.
A good summary can be used as project progress documentation. It can provide introductory material for new team members. Notes can also be a source of truth and a good reference while working.
Don’t be afraid to make your notes public. Instead of making notes just for yourself, keep it as a summary of your meetings. If something is not quite as you summarized, the team can help you to change it.
Another benefit can be a reference if someone is unable to attend the meeting. Often, during a vacation or illness, critical decisions about our work were made without us, and we were not even notified. Meeting notes and summaries can promote transparency in the company.
On paper or digitally
There are two ways to create such summaries. You can start with notes on a piece of paper and later digitize it. The second way is to create a digital version right away.
Prepare an experiment and choose your own method based on your predispositions and habits. I prefer small sticky notes and handwritten notes. I note the main keys and a short comment on them. Immediately after the meeting, I’m starting to prepare a full summary.
This form allows me to focus more on the topic. While creating on the computer, I had the impression of being a clerk. I just wrote down what was indicated instead of participating in the discussion.
Taking notes and summaries of meetings can provide a better engagement in discussions. Share your notes as a team summary. Don’t be afraid of inaccuracies or mistakes. Thanks to the support of others, you can correct mistakes. Find your way to summarize.