When facilitating a session–particularly one with VisualsSpeak–there is often a need to record, to keep track of what people are saying and doing. But even more than that, there is a need to be present, to be immersed in what’s going on.
Sometimes, those two roles conflict. It’s hard to be present when you’re also trying to scrawl everything neatly enough that you can read it again later. So how do you do it all?
Ask for help
The best way is not to try. When you’re working with a group, it’s best if you can bring someone else in to take notes. That way, you can focus on the facilitation. If that’s not available (and it’s appropriate), you can audio-record.
In a pinch, you can ask members of the group to take turns taking notes for each other. If you’re working one-on-one, you are more likely to be able to record the session. Even just a recording with a cell phone can be enough to spark a participant’s memory of key points!
Whatever solution you choose, if you find yourself not paying full attention because you’re note-taking, it’s time to change it up. The most important thing you can do in the moment is to be present.