Should I prevent my direct from seeing my O3 notes?

I have been doing O3s with my direct at my cube. We have to sit next to each other to do it, so I can't effectively take notes without him looking at everything I am writing.

Should I be concerned? Are my O3 notes something that my direct should not be allowed to see?

rwwh's picture
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Your O3 notes should not be a secret. What are you writing in your O3's? It should be no more than a reminder for you about action items and maybe feedback you've given. Imagine your boss hiding his notes from you: how would you feel?

You could encourage your direct to make their own notes.


tlhausmann's picture
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...but they are private for each direct (i.e. no one else sees the note--I have shown my directs how I use my O3 notes.)

I explain to my directs how I use O3 notes for project tracking and documenting feedback. Further, when we discuss coaching and on-going professional development...I make notes as well. O3 notes have helped me lead teams to achieve great results while also making the annual review process much simpler.

GlennR's picture

I don't see the issue here. First of all, your environment excludes any attempt at privacy. Second, as RWWH points out, the notes are just action items, etc.  I just looked at my notes from my last 03 yesterday. I had 5 action items to accomplish. My direct saw me write them down.

Now, I do agree that one direct should not see another's notes.

Years ago I was trained to write as if our customers would be reading our internal communications. In other words, avoid personal opinions and statements not supported by facts. The same holds for notes taken in meetings about directs or other co-workers. 

miketickle's picture

I am happy for each direct to see the notes I take on them in the meeting - I explain in the first 1-1 that I will be taking notes and I do it right in front of them.  Some will glance at the topic reminders I have written for myself and try to incorporate those in their update and I am happy with that.

One side effect of me writing the notes so openly is that some of the direct now attend the 1-1 with their own list of topics they want to cover and a general increase in note taking.

And occasionally it is a talking point. I always start with how are things going and write down the directs answer. One week when the response was "shit" it was followed by "I should have remembered you'd write that down" and a giggle :-)

The only bit I have not overcome is about negative feedback.  In my notes I have (+F) and (-F) followed by a topic to remind me to give feedback if I have not already on what ever caught my attention to give feedback on. I'd rather they didn't read that at the start and then wonder for 10 minutes what I'll given them feedback on.

dennis_sherman's picture
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I'm in agreement with pretty much everything above.  And wanted to note that one of my directs watching me write notes led directly to a request to coach him on notetaking technique.  It was a brief coaching engagement, but has paid off a lot.

On the down side, looking back over O3 notes from the previous year reminds me of unsuccessful attempts to improve my handwriting.

Dennis Sherman

cgltf1's picture

Good feedback on notes, I am reviewing my O3 process, looking for areas to improve. 

My notes and my direct notes on deliverables, need improvement.