Paper Less or Paper Independent?
Most of the written material is produced in the virtual world
Lets focus on the last question… I want to share with you three uncommon thoughts that could be a potential answer why we take a paper notebook to a meeting:
Do you trust yourself enough to capture the most important message by listening? If so, don’t start writing on a sheet of paper. As soon as you start writing, your capability of listening is reduced by more than 80%……
My advice: at the end of a meeting, capture the important information in a common and a digital and therefore shareable way.
Listen and don’t write
Does having a piece of paper and a pen in front of you give you a kind of psychological feeling of protectiveness? It can feel “naked” and vulnerable to have a business conversation without something in front of us even if you don’t use it. But I haven’t experienced many occasions with family, friends, etc… where everybody has a piece of paper in front of them. Have you?
My advice: in your next meeting, open the conversation around the use and presence of paper in that meeting and share your feelings at first.
What is my role
Do you perceive that if you wouldn’t bring “something” with you in a conversation you are potentially being judged as disengaged? If so, it could well be your own projection of being busy and trying to justify your existence within your organisation.
My advice: check in on your perception and rely on a constructive dialogue.
Increase awareness using less paper
These thoughts could potentially help you increase your awareness about using less paper. Not only in meetings but also in and around desks, and the rest of the workplace. My thought is that it also touches on a deeper meaning of your dependency on paper. Maybe even more on paper than on yourself. The philosophy of Activity Based Working aims to help all of us become more aware of what it is that we are doing, and what we need to do in an effective and efficient way. Supported to its utmost by technology. And yes paper has and will have some roles to play. However as Peter Druker said:
“There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”
Secretly I am wishing for slower printers ……or even better let us throw out the printer! Such a decision adds to deep transformation.
If I have made you curious to know more, let us discuss.
Other stories of Gijs;