This post was featured on Lifehacker on April 3, 2008. We wrote a follow-up post in response to the comments made which you can view here.By Jon:
In the event you get pulled into one of those unbearable, often unavoidable corporate experiences called meetings, this quick tip will help you make a good impression on superiors while keeping you from zoning away into the ceiling tiles.
The simple secret: Take detailed meeting notes
Note taking engages your mind (stymies off that post-lunch energy crash), provides you with a personal account of the information, and lends towards bonus points by demonstrating you're an active participant. So even if you're not the official note-taker, try these steps during your next meeting...
- Write or type your notes in the margins of the meeting agenda (there should be one!)
- Use bullet point format - subdivide by topics discussed, paraphrase information, and boldly call out action points and those responsible for them
- If you are the official note-taker for the meeting, send notes to all meeting attendees; otherwise, only send to the meeting leader (you don't want to come across pompous)
- Send notes immediately after the meeting (no more than 5-10 minutes after the meeting has adjourned... why?)
It's our experience that taking personal notes at meetings somehow breeds respect and approval from superiors, and managers enjoy having a simple list of bullet points and action items at-hand. The long and short - if you have to suffer through the meeting anyways, make it a valuable investment of your time by providing a valuable account to meeting organizers... you will be rewarded with respect and trust.
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