Taking Minutes forms an essential part of most meetings, they aren’t as some people think an outdated anachronism.
Meetings are costly, whether they are held in a company boardroom or at the local coffee shop. To ensure that meetings are productive and worth the expense involved, three ingredients are necessary:
- an assurance of closure
- a strong chair or leader
- and accurate minutes.
It has been said that if accurate minutes have not been recorded, then the meeting may just as well not have taken place.
Their purpose is firstly to record Action Points, ie, what actions have been decided upon, who is responsible and what the milestones and deadlines are. Secondly they record summaries of the discussions held at the meeting.
Taking minutes is a skilled job because the minute taker has to follow what can be confusing and inarticulate debates and summarise accurately what was said.
After the meeting the minutes should be checked with the chairperson to confirm accuracy and then circulated to all attendees and anyone else affected by any decisions taken at the meeting.
It is probably not much of a stretch to say that the last thing you or your staff wants to do at a company meeting is to take the minutes, but it’s an important and often necessary task.
Following are five important reasons for making sure you have someone take clear minutes at your next meeting.
- They offer legal protection. Minutes are important details that you can’t ignore if you want to keep your business in line with state laws, and to back up your tax returns. Minutes represent the actions of the board and company leadership, and are considered legal documents by auditors, the Internal Revenue Service, and the courts. Legal experts will maintain that if an action isn’t in the minutes, it didn’t happen.
- They provide structure. Even though there is no standardized format for meeting minutes. Therefore, make sure your minute taker sufficiently describes how board members arrived at reasonable decisions. The minute taker should also include the name of the organization, the date and time of the meeting, who called it to order, and who attended. Meeting minutes must then be approved at the next meeting by the leadership team.
- They drive action. Good meeting minutes help drive a plan of action for your leadership team and employees. They clarify how, when, why, and by whom decisions were made. They map out a plan for the action items — which helps get the work done — and they later provide valuable information to those team members who aren’t able to attend the meeting.
- They act as a measuring stick. Minutes record meeting decisions, which makes them a useful review document when it comes time to measure progress. They also act as an accountability tool because they make it clear who’s duty it was to perform which action.
- They state ownership. When votes are recorded and individual names are listed alongside each vote, it serves multiple purposes.
Our Minute Taker’s Workshop and eLearning module is currently one of our best selling courses, in the course we cover the following:
o Recognize the importance of minute-taking.
o Develop key minute-taking skills, including listening skills, critical thinking, and organization.
o Be able to resolve many of the complaints that affect minute-takers.
o Be able to write minutes that are suitable for formal meetings, semiformal meetings, and action minutes.
o Be an efficient minute-taker in any type of meeting.
o Be able to prepare and maintain a minute book.
With prices for a one day training workshop starting at £995 and our eLearning module £39, contact Churchill Square Training &Development to find out more 023 92 160840 / 07811 946315 or [email protected]