Remembering what you discussed and making sure you both follow through on takeaways are critical to having great 1 on 1s that keep your team happy and motivated.
Here's a few ways to take notes in Lighthouse that have worked well for managers that you may want to try:
1) The Remote Split Screen
If you're managing a remote employee, you're probably having your 1 on 1s via Google Hangout, Skype, or some other video conferencing option. The best way to use Lighthouse is to split part of your screen for the video and part to take notes while you talk.
This gives you an easy reference in real time to anything in Lighthouse while you're talking to them (like their career goals or what you discussed last time).
It also makes it easy to set follow ups at the end. You can then immediately send them out so they have their action items email in their inbox as soon as your call ends.
2) Let Them See Your Screen
Having a laptop screen between you and them can sometimes feel like a barrier. One simple way to eliminate that is to turn your screen towards them. This helps them see you simply have Lighthouse open and are taking notes on what they tell you is important.
This is particularly helpful when you have a more formal 1 on 1 to talk about their career goals and the steps to achieve it together.
If you're planning out the steps for you to work together to reach their goals, it helps for them to see the plan in front of them, too. You can then email the plan to them right after the meeting then as well.
Want to hide your Private Notes while sharing your screen?
While sharing your screen, just click the Privacy toggle to hide your notes while they can see your screen:
Note: You can also make the default that your private notes are hidden by changing your settings from the 1 on 1 section of Settings:
3) The Last 5 Minutes Method
If you prefer to have as little technology between you and them as possible, while still involving them in the action items setting process, this may be your best bet.
When you feel like the meeting is wrapping up, open up Lighthouse on your laptop or phone's mobile browser and start taking notes. As you record things, use your active listening skills to repeat back to them what you believe you heard that was important to them from the meeting.
The bonus of this approach is that by repeating back the notes you're taking, your team can clarify anything you may not have fully understood. It can also give them one last chance to think of anything else that was on their mind.
4) Print Your Notes & Schedule 10 Minutes After the Meeting
Sometimes you can't take notes in their one on one. Maybe you went for a walk, were getting a coffee/drink, or took them out to lunch.
Or you either can't or don't want to have technology in the meeting with you.
Whatever the reason, it's important to write things down while it's fresh in your mind and before you get distracted by the million other things you have to do.
To address this, many managers using Lighthouse schedule a 10 minute meeting right after their 1 on 1 for entering notes. Others build in an extra 10 minutes to each 1 on 1 calendar invite so they can take notes right after; they combine the two so that this extra time automatically follows any reschedules.
Either way, this approach builds the habit to get everything down and send out the action items email out while it's top of mind. If your action items are easy, you may even be able to use this time to take care of some of them right away, delighting your team member who will feel heard.
Print your notes!
You can now print your notes in Lighthouse so you can bring a print out for the meeting and then type then in 10 minutes after the meeting. Just click the bright green "Print Meeting Notes button" on their 1 on 1 tab right before the meeting:
5) Use Lighthouse's mobile app
Use our mobile app, which you can sign up for early access to here.
The best way to run a 1 on 1 from your phone or tablet is to tell your team that you're using an app to help you with the 1 on 1.
Then as they say important things, or run through topics on your agendas, you can say, "that sounds important, let me write that down" or "okay, let me note that."
The great thing is that when you do that, the silence that ensues often gives your team member more time to think, which can sometimes lead to additional details and insights being shared.
However, if you're really self-conscious about interrupting the meeting too much, then simply take shorthand notes to jog your memory later. Then, like the previous 1 on 1 style, you can go back after the meeting to add detail.
How do you take notes? Let us know how we can support your method, so we can make managing your team easier.