Written (mis)communications

April 29th, 2017

Continuing the theme of communication, a recent work discussion about missed actions and deadlines, mentioned that part of the reason was a misunderstanding about what was written down or a lack of written notes after a meeting.

We often make sure there are notes taken at meetings, sometimes detailed minutes of long conversations, although the focus is mainly on the actions. In this instance, it seems that the notes which were taken did not mean the same to everyone and some things were then not done.

Just because it’s written down, doesn’t mean it’s clear to everyone. It seems obvious when you see it like this, yet in the middle of a busy meeting, one of many meetings in a busy working day, they’re often forgotten

Key points:

At the start, be clear who is responsible for noting actions and deadlines, even if everyone says they’re taking their own notes;
Circulate notes promptly after the meeting;
Confirm everyone understands what needs to be done, by whom and by when;
Follow up on all actions promptly, if necessary, before the next meeting

Sue Cohen – project management and coaching

I have worked with a variety of project teams, helping them ensure project and business meetings are effective and roles are clear at the start and managed throughout the project.

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