The Practice in Notetaking/Reporting
The notetaker uses a laptop or pen and paper to keep a record of the essence of what was stated and agreed upon in a meeting.
The notetaker reads out the notes to the group to ensure that it the record is an accurate reflection of what was communicated. Mndful listening and writing matters. The notepaper may request a sentence or two at any time to summarise important points.
In giving a summary to a group, there is often a wish to please everybody in the group by referring to most things in a very general way to what was said. This has a value.
The notetaker or reporter has an opportunity to draw upon one, two or three insights that he or she finds important. The reporter can expand briefly on the truth of these insights in the three minutes allotted to the reporter.
In a newspaper, the reporter gives the essence of the whole story in the opening sentence. It grabs the reader’s attention. The reporter might consider the same or a similar approach rather than giving various generalisations or treating lightly what was said.
The reporter may have the opportunity to provide some useful insights. The spoken summary or report can act as a pure mirror for the small group or a mixture of what was listened to and what the reporter felt was important. This latter approach may not be suitable where the reporter only mirrors back to the general assembly).
Short sentences to the point have a quiet power to them but it is not easy to communicate in such a way. It takes practice to be clear and effective as a reporter. The purpose with these reporting sessions is for all the assembly to come to some insights on the theme that was discussed in the small group meeting - rather than just be offered vague perceptions.
It is worthwhile listening carefully to each person’s report. It is an important function. It is part of the training of the mind to mirror accurately a point or two and comment on it, if necessary. It is not easy for some people to report factual points that were expressed so that others have a clear sense of the content of the meeting as well as the atmosphere.
In essence, the Buddha says: “Let us hear the Dharma. Just as though there was someone pressing out pure honey and a large number of people were poised in expectancy, so it is when giving the Dharma to a large assembly.” (Middle Length Discourses 77).
It is the task of the reporter to squeeze out the pure honey from the small group meeting and offer it to the assembly.