Get it in Writing: Confirm, Store, and Stand By It

In today’s fast-paced business world, clear communication is essential. But what happens when memories fade, interpretations differ, or agreements get misconstrued? That’s where the power of written communication comes in.

This article explores the importance of documenting conversations with clients, colleagues, and managers. By putting things in writing, whether through email, messaging apps, or formal documents, you can ensure everyone is on the same page and avoid misunderstandings down the road.

Why You Should Get it in Writing:

  • Clarity and Accuracy: Writing things down provides a clear and accurate record of what was discussed. It eliminates the risk of misinterpretations or forgotten details.
  • Reduced Misunderstandings: By confirming agreements and decisions in writing, you can minimize confusion and ensure everyone involved has the same understanding.
  • Improved Accountability: A written record holds everyone accountable for their commitments. It creates a reference point for future discussions and helps track progress.
  • Protection: Documented communication can serve as valuable evidence in case of disputes or disagreements. It provides a clear record of what was agreed upon.

How to Get it in Writing:

  • Follow Up Emails: After meetings or phone calls, send a follow-up email summarizing key points, decisions made, and next steps.
  • Confirmation Messages: Use messaging apps to confirm agreements or deadlines with colleagues or clients.
  • Meeting Minutes: For important meetings, designate someone to take minutes capturing key discussions and action items.

Storing Your Records:

  • Centralized System: Develop a system for storing your written communication, such as a designated folder in your email or a project management tool.
  • Accessibility: Ensure everyone involved has access to relevant documents and communication records.
  • Retention Policy: Establish a clear retention policy for your written records, considering legal and compliance requirements.

The Bottom Line:

Taking the time to document your conversations is a simple yet powerful way to enhance communication, reduce misunderstandings, and protect yourself and your business. By following the tips above, you can ensure clear communication and build a foundation for successful collaborations.

Remember: Getting it in writing doesn’t mean micromanaging. Use your judgment to determine the level of documentation required for each situation. However, for important decisions, agreements, or deadlines, putting things in writing is a best practice that can save time, frustration, and potentially, money down the road.


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