Have you just been in a meeting where something important was discussed? Write it down!

  • Was a project deadline announced?
  • Did you receive a promise of a future promotion or increased pay?
  • Did you make a complaint about someone’s inappropriate behaviour?
  • Were you given specific duties or tasks to fulfil as part of your job?

These things are important! Here’s what you should do:

After any meeting where something has been decided or expressed, write down the key points in an email and send it to your supervisor and/or any other people in attendance. In your email, provide them the opportunity to clarify or correct any points to ensure that they are recorded correctly.

Lots and lots of problems happen in organisations like UTS because people don’t write things down. This creates plenty of scope for future problems.

  • People forget what was discussed or committed to
  • People may remember it incorrectly or mix up certain details
  • Malicious, manipulative people may lie

And when things go wrong, people often try to find scapegoats, and that scapegoat could be you!

The majority of these things are avoided when they are put in writing.

Beware of having an “off-the-record” discussion or “gentlemen’s agreements” with a supervisor or colleague. You must ask yourself why it should pose a problem for any agreement to be written down.

Are you agreeing to something inappropriate or potentially illegal? If so, it could come back and bite you.

Perhaps you are dealing with someone you consider a friend or have a good working relationship with, and you consider it to be excessively formal to write things down.

OK, perhaps it may look this way, but remember – when things go wrong, such relationships become strained or collapse altogether. You don’t want to be holding the short end of the stick.

Leave a Reply