Over the last 10 years I've done hundreds of one-on-ones with my directs.  This week I did my first set with a new team.  

I'm getting some push back on taking notes (yes I will continue to take notes) and for the first time I've had a direct ask for a copy of the one-on-one notes I take each week. 

My first reaction is to say 'no those are my notes' but on reflection I figure the relationship is better served by them seeing what I am recording.  i.e. letting them see that I just record what we talk about.

I'm have a feeling this has come up in a podcast over the years but can't find it.  So... I'm curious how you, the MT community, have handled this...

mike_bruns_99's picture
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Hi Matt,

Good management is boring, repetitive, and effective. It's about having good relationships with your directs. No games, no surprises, no BS.  A relationship based on facts, not secrets, "politics", games, or innuendo.

Take notes, and give them a copy if they'd like.  When they read "Direct said they'd have their development plan completed by 8/1"  It's just a fact. And your notes are just a way of documenting the facts in a way that's effective for you.

Write your notes in a way that you're comfortable giving them to your directs. And do so. Hopefully, they'll learn from your example and take better notes themselves.

timbarcz's picture
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Are you providing a copy of your notes to your directs for other meetings?  Why is this meeting different?

is this coming from a single direct or multiple (and if multiple are they colluding behind your back on this?)?

giving in here to the direct doesn't seem to make the relationship with the direct grow stronger - just seems to give in to the direct.


interested in the thoughts of others,


stevesim's picture

I don't see any reason for not letting your direct see what you are making notes on.  Make it clear these are your notes, for your benefit in order to allow you to deliver the things required to support them and to report on things to your management.  Your notes are NOT a comprehensive set of notes on everything discussed and shouldn't be counted on to replace notes the direct should be taking for their use.  The direct needs to take responsibility for ensuring they are capturing the information they need in order to track the things that are important to their role in order to deliver results.  

Steve Simmons

GlennR's picture

This has to do with trust and respect. There is either something in your organization's culture, in that direct's background ( a negative incident with a prior boss, perhaps) or in your relationship with your direct that, to me, indicates a lack of trust. I cannot imagine any other reason why a direct would ask to see a supervisor's notes.

You're not the recording secretary in an 03. Your notes are your own. I would not share.

Address the trust issue.




altadel's picture
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I expect the direct(s) is/are afraid of "documentation". Like GlennR says, it's a trust issue. Trust goes both ways, of course. I would SHOW the notes at the end of the first couple of sessions with the direct, to defuse any tension around "documentation". However, I wouldn't SHARE (i.e., give them a copy) of the notes. These are "my notes" of a business meeting. The direct is free, nay encouraged, to take her own notes of the meeting. I'd even be willing to take one or two minutes at the very end of the O3 to compare notes, if they brought it up. I see this as professional behaviour in the effort of building trust.

[My notes might have her spouse's and children's names, if she shares that, but I'm not going to write out private info about her counselling, if that is shared. If she doesn't trust just yet, I'm not likely getting info like that anyway.]

Scott Delinger

DiSC: 5137

GlennR's picture

I'm smiling at myself after re-reading my earlier post from this morning and Scott's just above. It occurred to me that, once again the DISC profile came into play here. Normally, you can expect me to respond as a high "S." But I'm also a strong "D" and I'm chuckling because I think that's the quadrant that responded this morning. Perhaps it's that I was also raised in the American South and Southwest and I believe my earlier response also had to do with my lizard brain pushing back on someone who doubted my word. Nor is trust an issue in my organization.

It comes down to how big of a deal you believe sharing or showing your notes is. If it's no big deal, then do it. But if you believe that larger issues are at play, or that you don't want to set the precedent, then don't do it. (Ah, there's that "S" quadrant again:-)