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Recording is omnipresent in our phone exchanges with our suppliers and partners. It has even become a habit to hear: “your call can be recorded or listened to”, to the point where we ignore it.
With the advent of smartphones, spontaneous audio recording has become an easy thing to do and we use it in our daily lives. However, it’s not a practice we use in the workplace.
What if I told you that audio recording could be very useful in your meetings and that it has many benefits? Would you like to hear about that? Read on to learn about the many benefits of doing so.
Before we begin, we must, of course, answer the question:
Is it legal to record your meetings?
Depending on the country, there are various laws surrounding audio recording. The laws are very specific about recording and we recommend that you check what the laws are in your country. In some countries only one part of the communication has to be informed and in other countries, all the parts present. It is important to remember that capturing the private conversation of others is prohibited in majority of countries. Find out more about this: Legal information for recording.
I recommend that you inform participants that they are registered. In Beenote, it is visually indicated that a recording is in progress. Minutes that include audio recordings can also be private to the team for confidential meetings such as a Board.
Mobile audio recording
The main benefit of smartphones is undoubtedly mobility and accessibility at any time and place. Meetings can be spontaneous or planned outside the office, for example at a business lunch. Forget taking notes on a table corner and record your discussion in its totality or in part. This way you have an audio record of what was said.
Project management: better follow-up
As an executive, you have a lot on your mind: deadlines, managing your team, project progress, decisions made, etc. In addition to your written notes, audio recording allows you to document and keep an audio trace in your meeting archives. You will also be able to review certain elements of a meeting such as a decision or assign a more detailed task to a member of your team.
More productive meetings
A lot of time is wasted in meetings only with unplanned or out-of-context topics. Audio recording makes it possible, unconsciously, to provide guidance, to invite people to the meeting to stay within the established framework (the agenda), to stay focused on the objective of the meeting. The feeling of wasting time in a meeting is explicitly ruled out, because the meeting is structured.
Decisions are dictated and defined, later they will be quickly proven and verifiable.
Focusing on what is being said (not on note-taking)
A common practice in meetings: the leader is the one who writes everything, leads the discussion, speaks, writes the notes, in short he is the one who does everything. Unless you delegate the note-taking task to someone else, voice recording of the meeting is a great alternative to help you take control of your meetings.
Ideal for those who are absent
Absentees will be able to listen to the discussion in whole or in part as needed to stay informed on the progress of the files. This way, you avoid repeating yourself and wasting a lot of people’s time.
Quick return on files
When new people take over existing files, for example for a disease, recording can validate questions and move the project forward more quickly. This makes it easier to take charge of the file.
In the heat of the moment, sometimes we forget to write important things down. Recording is therefore used to remember conversations. To return to points that seem nebulous or misunderstood. With a clear head and hindsight, we see things from a whole new perspective. No more interpretations!
Resolve conflicts between colleagues or parties
“You told me this… the decision we made was this and not that…” Regardless of the reason for the misunderstanding, personal interpretation can easily be avoided by listening to a segment of your meeting again and resolving the conflict more simply.
Did you say verbatim?
This is a good way to accurately transcribe your meeting. It will also greatly reduce transcription time. However, it’s important to be meticulous!
Keeping an organizational history
You can record, all or part, of your meetings. You could even set up a mandatory recording procedure; the company records all decisions that are made at a meeting or board.
It’s also a good way to retain corporate memory when employees leave or when consultants end their contracts.
A verbal contract between parties
The audio recording can be used as a verbal contract between 2 parties. For example, when you move dates in a project, recording the consent of the parties present reinforces that decision. Of course, when using Beenote your recordings remain confidential, as the audio recording can be limited to participants only.
Protection in the event of a commercial dispute
A recording can be used as current evidence and prove your claims more easily. A centralized directory of minutes allows you to keep track of all your meetings for better compliance, but more importantly for security of mind.
Use the services of a consultant or agency for transcription
If writing the minutes is a difficult task for you or if you are short of time, the audio recording could be used by an external transcription service. This would make it easier for you to concentrate on the actions that result from your meeting.
Our Tip #1: If you prefer recording: the details
Of course, when we’re in meetings, we’re in the thick of things, and the issues we’re discussing are relevant to our work. However, in order to take full advantage of the audio recording, as it will be used for future purposes or even listened to by people who were not present at the meeting, please go into more detail than is necessary. Especially when it comes to decisions. Speak clearly and dictate everything that is relevant to know.
Tip #2: Invest in a good microphone
Of course, you can use your smartphone or desktop computer to record your meeting. However, investing in good microphones is worth it:
- We avoid background noise;
- You can clearly hear all people, even those far away;
- The microphones are directed in different directions, not unidirectional like the basic microphones.
In conclusion, we can argue that a greater sense of trust accompanies the existence of the audio file. Disputes are settled more quickly and little is left to interpretation. Being able to refer to easily verifiable facts is a good tool for any team wishing to achieve common goals.
NB: This article is written for informational purposes only and cannot represent a legal opinion that commits Comnet technologie Inc. It is your responsibility to verify if in your jurisdiction you can record your exchanges during workplace meetings.
Melanie is the Marketing Director at Comnet Technologie who handles design, content, user experience, and all marketing for Beenote. Melanie helps individuals, teams, and organizations to adopt good meeting practices.