Being present

Here’s a simple tip any designer can implement today to give an impression in meetings and stay more organized…

Take notes, and write them down on paper.

It’s embarrassing to have to bother co-workers, the client, or your boss with questions on a previous meeting because you didn’t take any notes. It’s even more embarrassing to drop the ball with a missed detail on a design project. It’s better to simply take notes for things that should have been written down in the first place.

Even if you have a track record of remembering details, the action of writing it down gives the other people in the meeting confidence that you are recording the vital details, and that the details won’t be missed, and it demonstrates that you are taking the meeting and other people’s time seriously.

So why not type notes out on a computer or tablet? That is certainly better than not taking any notes. However, I’m personally not a fan of taking meeting notes on devices because I have found that it is more important to be present in the meeting and show the other people in the meeting that you are listening.

People can’t tell if you’re writing an email, taking notes, or chatting on slack if you’re staring at your screen. Staring at your screen can easily create the perception that you’re tuned out.

Eye contact and actually being present is a rarity these days. You can make an impression on people simply by staying mentally present, and keeping your eyes off of a screen. If you’re truly listening to the person presenting while everyone else in the meeting is distracted on their computer or phone, you’re instantly leaving an impression on the person speaking. You’ll also have better ideas and more value to add to the meeting than if you were distracted with your screen.

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