Are you doing the “office housework”?

Are you doing the “office housework”?

Leadership Development

Ladies… do you pride yourself in taking copious notes in each meeting?

Please stop.

It’s called the “office housework” for a reason. According to research, more women than men are expected to take notes during meetings.

Look, at some point you should be able to enter a meeting with complete focus, and come out knowing what you need to know and taking appropriate next steps without burying your head behind a computer or in a notebook.

It communicates subservience—exactly the positioning power-broker women leaders should avoid. I know, it’s a trope, but it is how some people view us in male-dominated rooms and companies. If you are a woman of color… just… please. Don’t feed into the lesser stereotypes! Typically, meetings have a “scribe” assigned…someone junior who likely is learning the business.

You are not that person, so please don’t volunteer and keep an eye out for your less experienced Sisters. They shouldn’t get strapped with the job exclusively either.

If you jot something down, it should only be a crucial jot or scribble that you can refer to later, but trust me: after being in the business 10, 15-20 years you should be doing more flexing and engaging than scribbling. You should be able to recall anything that happens in that meeting because you are just that sharp.

You are C-Suite material, after all.

So, sit up, lean into the discussion, engage your executive presence. Ask smart questions that will drive the meeting forward, then be on to your next.

And while we’re on the topic, stop volunteering to orchestrate the potluck or the next mandatory fun event, OK?

Is this a mindset shift for for you?

Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

In the meantime, check out this Fast Company article on why you should put your pen down in meetings:

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