Last week I led a writing class for a group of administrative assistants who wanted help writing meeting notes and minutes. We began by talking about the challenges they face as note takers. Here’s their list of challenges:
- Getting the information down when speakers talk quickly.
- Recognizing what to record and how much of it.
- Dealing with two people speaking at once.
- Facing an incomprehensible stream of acronyms and abbreviations.
- Trying to hear when side conversations compete with the main speaker.
- Being unfamiliar with the attendees and topic, also known as “not having a clue.”
- Not knowing when a decision has actually been made.
- Feeling timid about interrupting the group with a question.
If you lead meetings, be kind to your note takers. Recognize the challenges they face, and do your best to eliminate them.