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Question: "In a disciplinary interview I find it difficult to listen and write at the same time. We are a small organisation and the only people I could bring in to take notes are not exactly reliable. Any suggestions?"
HR Tip: I am concerned that you say you have nobody who is reliable. If you choose to have someone in to take notes, make clear to them that they are not to take sides but rather record exactly what was said and done and give a copy to each party. However it is not difficult for you to listen and write – just don't do both at the same time. Do what they do in court.
Listen to a little of what the employee has to say then tell him to wait while you note it. Then tell him to continue a little more – and so on. You are in charge of the meeting and can tell the employee when to speak and when to shut up. These pauses, by the way, can give you time to think as you go along and can also calm down an emotional employee. Try it.
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