It’s something that I’ve noticed over and over that when a group gets together to discuss something, whether it is at a Lodge Communication or a committee meeting, only the Secretary takes notes.
Why is that?
Many of us work in companies where we attend meetings throughout the week (sometimes it feels like it is the only things we do) and in every instance the expectation is that we will be taking notes. Each of us is responsible for recording what is important to us and any action items that we are taking away from the meeting. We don’t rely on someone else doing to take notes for us.
So why is it, when we go to a meeting at our Masonic Temple we rely on one person. Why should the Secretary take all the notes, list all the action items, and then distribute them to everyone else?
Note taking is something that seems to have fallen out of favor and it is a shame. There are many studies out there (go ahead and hit up your favorite search engine) that show the simple act of taking notes helps you to strengthen your memory of the event. You will also have your own documentation about what occurred, which you can refer to well after the meeting.
So often I’ve sat in meetings where only those with outstanding memories can comment to, or correct, something that wasn’t quite right in the minutes. I’ve see precious time lost in meetings as the discussion about what was said, who said what, and whose was responsible, rages on because the Secretary, while juggling everything else, missed something.
Rather than sitting there passively at your next meeting, consider pulling out a small notebook and take a few notes as the meeting goes on. You don’t need to record everything just your observations, your thoughts, and of course, anything that you have volunteered to work on. You may even want to take a few minutes to review what you wrote down after the meeting to see if there’s anything you want to add.
Once you’ve done that, take a few minutes to review what you recorded before you want into the next meeting. You’ll be surprised at how much more engaged you are having reviewed what happened last time.