pay attention to tension, resonance, decisions06 Sep 2019
at this point, i am moving a number of formal, informal, and adhoc groups, mostly focused towards social justice and building better worlds. honestly, what that means is a ton of meetings and lots of notetaking. it’s in my nature to look for efficiencies and one place i’ve been thinking about how to make improvements for a while is note taking. all of these meetings have SUCH intense notes. verbatim transcriptions of meeting notes are the default, mostly. and that’s not bad, per se, but i have been feeling my way into what actually needs to be tracked and why.
last week i was talking with my friend and colleague bernice and we landed on these couple of things that felt most important: tensions, resonance, and decisions.
- tensions: these are places/ideas/questions along which people in a group have differing or full-on conflicting opinions/answers
- resonance: thinking here of norma wong. if i try to put it simple, resonances are places where there is deep ideological alignment that shows up on the surface as agreement. see the video for more detail on this.
- decisions: noting when and where decisions are made, and by whom, is critical for groups to function well
our hypothesis is that tracking these things over time will illustrate the actual critical patterns in groups. and it’s attention to those patterns, especially across groups, that will benefit our collective work in the long term.
anyway, i just wanted to throw this up here so that i can start moving it in places and seeing what happens. i should also say that tracking these things, especially in teams that have multiple subteams, i think could have a very positive effect on information flow within the full team. and, honestly, it would make me read more meeting minutes. summaries are great, but subjective. noting tensions, resonances, and decisions feels less so and potentially even more valuable.
if you’re also thinking about this, let me know! i’d love to be in conversation with others about this.
ps - i swore that was gonna take me five minutes to write up. facepalm
words / writing / post-processing
332w / 9min / 5min