In principle, the value of written words is that they can be seen by several people simultaneously, and over time. Further, the process of choosing words helps us be sure we understand. Writing and agreeing on words together breeds shared understanding. Without a written record to underpin the understanding or agreement, you can count on ever changing
accounts of what happened.
Practical Tip: When making good group decisions, have large paper on hand for all to see, or a computer screen projected on the wall. The paper or screen serves as a blank canvas for shared creation. To check for shared understanding or agreement, take your best shot at the right words and write them for all to see. Discuss the words and change the words until there is general agreement that they reflect the sense of the group. Writing and agreeing on words is harder than nodding heads to spoken comments, but it saves time and conflict over the long run.