Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Meetings Condescending Treatment

I was at a department meeting, and I was listening and doodling while my manager spoke. I nook a few notes, but that was all I needed. After the meeting, my manager said he saw what I was doing and said I should write down what is said in these meetings. I told him I didn't need to, but he was not pleased. What do you think of his comments?

Unless this meeting was actually a class in penmanship or stenography, there are not many good reasons for your manager to focus on note taking. If you have a history of failing to pay attention in meetings and then making mistakes on the job, that is another story. Or, if your doodles are somehow distracting the group, that too is another story.

Short of these types of scenarios, your manager needs to recognize that employees have different learning styles, and taking notes for the sake of looking interested is basically a game of corporate charades. At this point, you are an adult and you have presumably learned what you need to do in a meeting in order to effectively use the information that is presented. If you are absorbing the content, participating effectively, and letting your work behavior demonstrate that you are on top of the issues, there is no reason for your manager to have this discussion with you.

Is it possible that these meetings are less than stimulating and your manager is a little sensitive about this? If everyone in the room is doodling, then it might be easy to draw that conclusion, among other things.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!