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In the old days, the output of any team work session was a pile of flip charts that needed to be typed up and sent out to the team for review.  This is a slow and unnecessary process.  With a little bit of skill with something as basic as Microsoft Word, you can project and then work on documents real time.  What’s nice about this for longer one or two day sessions, is that you can print out copies or share documents electronically as you go.

When you break out into small groups, instead of using flip charts, teams can use laptops and then share their work either through email or a flash drive.  By the way this method works just fine when using something like a Webex or Go to Meetings session.

However, as Shakespeare said…”there’s the rub.”  What prevents this from happening in a productive manner is a general lack of skill in using basic programs like Microsoft Word.  Most people still use this program like a typewriter.  I find this to be true even with administrative assistance or people who use the program all the time.

Here’s a quick test you can use to see if someone has the basics down:

  1. Can you generate and update a table of contents automatically?
  2. Do you use styles to format a document?
  3. Do you know how to indent or line or do you space over?
  4. Do you know how to use tables to make columns rather than tabs?
  5. Can you add and delete row and columns from a table?
  6. Can you change the type font of an entire document with two commands?
  7. Are there page numbers at the bottom of your documents that change automatically?
  8. Do you know how to get a new page without adding lines at the end?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you can dump the flip charts.  By the way, there are five or six ways to do everything in Word.  Do you know the fastest way or do you just do the one way you learned?

Photo uploaded on June 14, 2009
by Valeriana Solaris

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