In principle, the value of written words is that several people can see them simultaneously and that they endure over time. Written words anchor specific events, ideas, perspectives, decisions.
Further, the process of choosing words helps us be sure that we understand. Writing and agreeing on words together forces shared understanding.
Without a written record to underpin the understanding or agreement, we can count on ever-changing accounts of what happened.
Practical Tip: When making group decisions, write down words to represent the decisions. You might write words on a flip chart or computer screen for all to see and clarify in the moment, or you might write them for later clarification in the form of meeting minutes (written notes of a meeting). Many groups circulate draft minutes, invite corrections, and then formally approve a final version.
Agreeing on written words is harder than just nodding approval of spoken words, but it saves confusion and conflict over the long run.
– Craig Freshley