There is a lot of focus within the graphic recording community about what constitutes good recording and what do we call ourselves and what do we really offer our clients. These are all important conversations and we support those discussions. That said, I helped train Meeting Magic’s Advanced Facilitation workshop these past few days. Interestingly, none of those topics came up from our clients. But there was one word we kept hearing and talking about.
Not only is the act of recording conversations to support movement to agreed outcomes complex, with figuring out what to record, when to record it and how to best represent an idea–words or pictures or both, but the whole idea of recording is complex. Complexity comes in the mechanics of recording–absolutely. But the real complexity comes in helping meeting participants see their own complexity but in simple, easy to digest graphics.
This requires a huge amount of practice and skills in listening, distilling and capturing what is swirling around you as the recorder. It also means taming the inner, personal complexities that we all carry with us so we don’t get in the way or interpret the group’s complex issues and process.
We find that if we acknowledge the complexity and develop a strong commitment to supporting complexity, as opposed to suppressing it or trying to make it into a pretty picture, we do greater service to the group. Helping complexity emerge within the graphics we are creating is what we are there to do. We should not be helping groups dumb down or gloss over their complex issues.