Many life times ago I was in a working session about something that literally wasn't memorable enough to remember, except for a comment about my spelling on a large flip chart. Having thought about this recently I've come to the conclusion there are two general categories of "things" that guide us —
- Things we are good at and things we are not good at
- Things we like to do and things we don't like to do.
In this context I'm not a good speller (a little better now) and I don't like to scribe on flip charts (this still holds true). Frankly I also don't like taking minutes either, but let's stay on point.
The word that was called out was "acquire" (or its misspelled cousin "aquire"). To be honest I cannot remember how I spelled it but ultimately it was considered an appropriately spelled alternative (or maybe just not that important to spend anymore time on). About two years later I found myself in yet another working session, and as the recorder picked up the marker to scribe she said in a matter of fact tone, "Spelling doesn't count on flip charts". I fell in love with her there and then, and this has been my modus operandi ever since.
I had been given permission to continue my semi illiterate and illegible "flip charting ways" — no harm, not foul, because spelling doesn't count on flip charts.
It's probably important to mention I have always been impressed with those people who are able to capture the thoughts of the room for all to see with perfect penmanship, spelling and grammar — it's akin to a piece of business art in my mind. It does lead to the question as to why I took the easy way out with my newly acquired "flip chat rule" instead of improving my to skills to create my own business art.
My rationalization over the years has been penmanship, spelling and grammar are all secondary to the importance of capturing the idea raw, and I did not want to interrupt the flow of the conversation for the sake of style... and besides, someone has to transcribe it again to some sort of word document. This isn't a particularly robust rationalization (and slightly nonsensical) as to why I didn't raise the bar for myself, but as I've said, "I really don't like being a scribe".
Don't even get me started about the games I used to play when taking minutes in a meeting,
PS — I am well aware that there is a little bit of personal sabotage in all of this, and definitely a missed opportunity to develop some skills, but again I have to reiterate, "I don't like scribing".
PPS — I also know "not liking something" is the worst reason not to do it — particularly when you know it's good for you.