Steph Taylor is our Passionate PA based in Christchurch, Dorset. She joined us in November 2021 after a 20+ year career in Human Resources and Change Management.
In her role as a Passionate PA, Steph helps her clients manage their people through associate models i.e. where one or two directors grow their business and develop their client offering by outsourcing work to trusted consultants, associates or freelancers.
The power of writing it down!
One of the first things I was taught as a young, aspiring HR Manager was “keep a record… always write it down!”. As much as I now keep an electronic record rather than writing with a pen and paper, I still believe that this continues to be one of the best pieces of advice that was gifted to me.
As leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners we make quick decisions. We have multiple conversations, with multiple people about different things and agree actions every day. This is just normal for us, but, without notes, there can be misunderstandings or confusion. This can be costly too, both financially and from a human impact.
We simply cannot remember everything but writing it down isn’t just about memory joggings. It’s also not about those pesky HR people adding to your workload. In this blog I explore why the simple HR advice “always write it down” can be invaluable to you in every aspect of your business.
Clarity and Accuracy
When you write something down, you can clarify your thoughts, ensuring that you deliver your intended message. This is especially important when communicating with employees, clients or freelancers. By writing down the details of a conversation including any actions or agreements that have been made, you can avoid misunderstandings that can lead to conflict. Writing actions down and sharing them gives everyone an opportunity to check their understanding.
When you document important conversations or decisions, you create a paper trail that can be used to hold people (and yourself0 to account. This is great when making plans for the future or ideas sharing – and of course can be especially important when dealing with performance issues, disciplinaries or disputes. By having a written record of what was said or agreed upon, you can ensure that everyone is clear about their accountabilities and progress is made in the right direction.
Reflection and Learning
Writing things down gives you the opportunity to reflect on decisions and learn from experiences. By keeping a record of decisions, actions and outcomes, you can identify trends and areas for improvement. This can help you make better decisions in the future, replicate success and avoid making the same mistakes.
Finally, writing things down can also provide protection for your business. If you are ever involved in a legal dispute, having a written record of what was said or agreed upon can be invaluable. It can help you defend your position, prove your case and avoid costly legal fees.
Keeping a record doesn’t have to take a long time. It can be a quick note, an email or even a voice note. Just don’t forget your GDPR compliance (that’s a blog for another day).
And remember, it can be fun.
Our franchisor, Kate, once worked with an older chap who had a notebook for every quarter of every year of this entire career. They spanned a whole wall in his Dorset-based office and every single one was full to the brim of notes, drawings, musings, ideas and the full story of the multiple businesses he had run – each from inception to sale. It was fascinating to dip into these notebooks – for him, his family and friends, and for Kate! A very special way to honour a life’s work.
You can find out more about Steph by clicking here!
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