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HR tip: Making notes in disciplinary hearings


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

"In a disciplinary hearing I find it difficult to listen, think, and make notes, all at the same time. Any suggestions please?"

HR tip:
Don't do them all at the same time. Listen until you feel like having a think, then ask the speaker to pause. Have your think, then make your notes. When you are satisfied, ask the speaker to continue. Alternatively have someone take the notes for you. However make sure that they are capable of capturing the essences of what is being said, and in any case still pause the speaker if you need time to think. You are in charge of the meeting so have people speak and pause as you feel necessary.

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One Response

  1. Discipline Interviews
    First off, always have someone else taking the “notes”…..but….

    I strongly believe there is more to this than “taking notes”. Given that the reason for calling the meeting should have been earlier provided in writing, the crucial part of the meeting is the explanation. The explanation MUST be recorded as near “word-for-word” as possible, and this requires the interviewer to pause and make sure the note-taker is keeping up. Reason: quite simply that any discipline action should be based not on what the person did or did not do, but on why you do not accept their explanation, therefore making the record of the explanation crucial. This approach shows the explanation has been obtained [crucial]; the explanation has been listened to [crucial]; and helps to remove preconception if some lawyer or union official had thoughts of that as a defence. Finally, the demeanour of the person being interviwed is also crucial, but is discussed after the meeting, with the note-taker. As we must never deliver our decision at the meeting, the demeanour is taken into account in the reason the explanation is or is not accepted. Cheers.


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