You had a great meeting with high energy and everyone was on board with the goals and their assignments. The next day, you can only remember a few things about the meeting. You wonder: What were the next steps? Who was doing what?
If this sounds familiar, keep reading. I’ll help you make sure you never walk away from a meeting again without a firm understanding of your to-dos.
I realized early in my career that you have to document every meeting. Einstein couldn’t remember his phone number, as he explained it, “Why should I? I can always look it up.” You don’t have to either if you always document.
Embrace the 3 D’s: Distribution, Decisions, and Dates
At every meeting, document the following ideas and you’ll never leave empty-handed:
- Distribution is doling out responsibilities among the participants. Clearly define who is doing what next steps.
- Decisions are about highlighting any important determinations or resolutions made and necessary next steps.
- Dates of the next meeting or deadlines. This is expressing when we will complete a task or reassemble.
Recap the 3 D’s before the meeting ends. After the meeting, send an e-mail or message to everyone with your notes on these items, including people who weren’t in attendance but need to know. Return to these documents for clarification and reference.
Always document the 3 D’s to be familiar with issues and aware of the goals and aspirations. It’s a great way to unstuff your brain and stay on top of your business.