Should I request a direct not use a laptop for notetaking?

I have a direct who has recently started taking notes on her laptop during staff meetings.  There are 4 reasons I have a problem with this.

  1. The direct can not participate activley in discussions.  She is looking at the laptop the whole time, even while speaking to others.  This behavior I find rude and several other directs have expressed the same thought to me.
  2. The clicking away of the keys while people are talking is distracting.
  3. I suspect that the direct is probably checking e-mails during the meeting.  I do not allow anyone to use thier Blackberry or I-Phone in the middle of the meeting, why would a PC be ok?
  4. Lastly, what is going to happen when a high level executive conducts or sits in on a meeting with my team.  If the direct uses the laptop and the senior executive finds it rude, then it reflects poorly on me for allowing the behavior.  If the direct has enough sense to not do it around a senior executive then it shows a lack of respect for me.

I would be interested in some feedback on this.  Am I alone on this.  I am planning on providing feedback the her on this.


BartMasters's picture

Providing feedback is completely appropriate.  There are a lot of threads and discussions here about this, all in agreement.  While technology tools can be very useful, they are only useful to the person using them, and flat out distracting to everyone else.  Feedback along the lines of 'Use a pen and paper to take notes in the meeting, and then type them up later' is completely appropriate in my opinion.

mmann's picture
Licensee Badge

Give the feedback and remember to do it with a chuckle.  Establish the no laptops, phones or PDAs ground rule.




acao162's picture

Is she the minute keeper?  In my org, the person taking the minutes sits next to the chair of the meeting.  This person is also expected to actively participate in the meeting (something I intend to change - delta file!) - but ideally, this person is there to keep offical records of the Board.  Inputting the minutes into a laptop means they are available much faster.  The "old" paper & pen version takes 3-5 days, this new method is expected to take under 2 hours.

If she's not the official minute taker, no technology.  If she is, sit her next to you & then you *know* what she is doing, not wondering if e-mails and IMs are distracting her.  Then, give feedback on that.