The Importance of Keeping Notes

Keeping notes

One of the biggest problems you will have with solving a sticky workplace issue is determining who said what. By keeping notes after a verbal conversation, you can make your life easier in any future dispute.

We frequently come up against “he said/she said”-type arguments when investigating issues between managers and employees. Damning words were allegedly spoken by someone, but have since disappeared into thin air, conveniently with no documentary back-up.

It’s easy for everybody to feel stressed when this happens, because it’s just one person’s word against another’s. Managers also tend to think that keeping things verbal acts as a form of protection, while employees believe there’s no way of proving what was said or agreed later on.

But there is. Or at least, there is a way to confirm and clarify, and it’s as simple as writing down the details.

For example, after your conversation, you could follow up with a short email that says something like, “Thanks for the chat today. Now we’ve spoken, I just want to confirm [summary of the key points].”

This not only clarifies your own thoughts, but also puts the conversation firmly ‘on the record’ while giving the other party a chance to correct any misunderstandings.

What if you don’t get a reply? If they later refute what was said, you can simply ask why they didn’t correct the details after you wrote to them – which automatically places you in a stronger position.

The moral of the story is: always keep notes, and always try to confirm a decision or outcome from a verbal conversation in writing. Further down the line, you might be extremely glad you did.

If you’re wrestling with an un-documented “he said/she said” situation now, get in touch for some direct, company-tailored advice.