Tuesday, May 19, 2009

C.A.L.M. when speaking

You strive to be calm when speaking in public, right? Here's why - you want to be:
C.A.L.M.when speaking.

Yes, it's an acronym, a mnemonic (Professional hazard as I am an engineer by trade and mien.)

An oft-overlooked skill - taking meeting minutes

From Lockergnome, Diana Huggins presents Meeting Minutes 101. This points things to do in preparation for a meeting that make it easier to take good notes and minutes.

I reccomend reading it as she offers helpful points on taking effective meeting minutes - a task frequently done poorly.

I think the article is missing one important point - always be ready to take meeting minutes.

I'm guilty of the "if I ignore it, it'll go away" syndrome. You are too, I'll wager.

I have worked myself into the state of dreading having to take minutes - thus I do everything to be unprepared to do so - all in the hope that I won't have to, someone else will, they won't be needed, etc. and etc. Generally a bad plan - an approach to fail.

Rethinking this approach and instead taking these tips to heart is much more realistic. Here's a way to look at it:

  • If I'm going to spend my time in a meeting, then I'm probably going to take notes, since the act of taking notes helps fix the discussions, the issues and my thoughts firmly in my mind.
  • Now, if I'm going to take notes, there's really not a lot of difference between the preparations and techniques for me as a simple note-taking participant as compared to a "scribe" (minutes-taker). These tips are in the article by Diana.
  • So, my thinking goes, I'm actually ready to "take minutes" for most any meeting I attend.

So where Diana suggests:

"If you find yourself having to take meeting minutes, here are a few pointers"...

Instead, read that as "Since you're always prepared to take good meeting notes and minutes, here are a few pointers..."