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 Minutes for Meetings

Writing minutes for meetings can be a boring and an unpleasant task. Traditional minutes are kept during the meeting, by one person. It is a mechanical task that prevents the participation of a team member in the discussions. The purpose of these minutes is to describe the process of a past meeting. They contain details and descriptions of what people said and did at the meeting. They were distributed to participants after the meeting. The next meeting always started reviewing the minutes to ensure that the description of the events was accurate.

Nowadays, there is a new framework to keep minutes for meetings. “To do minutes” are a working document and a planning device that put together the main elements of a meeting: the outcomes of a discussion, tasks needed to be done, timeline and the person responsible for the task. By doing this the focus of the meeting is about moving forward and looking into the future actions as opposed to focusing on taking unnecessary notes and descriptions of events and details of what happened at the meeting. The framework also serves as a record of the decisions made at the meeting and includes a collaborative plan with detailed activities and timelines.
To-do minutes are discussed and written during the meeting and distributed to all participants at the meeting. The hard-copy is kept as a monitoring document; allowing individuals to tick their activities as done. The next meeting starts, reviewing what was done. For tasks that are not completed a rationale is provided by the person in charge. The team also discusses the challenges and best practices in implementing the tasks. This way the meeting becomes a learning opportunity and sharing of best practices.

This strategy of taking minutes for meetings reflects a new approach to managing meetings as well. The tool asks for discussions and input from everyone which shifts the chairing process to facilitation and moderation of the meeting. Chairing a meeting is about controlling the meeting, sticking to the agenda and covering every item, regardless how superficial the process is. Facilitation is about ensuring a good process and that everyone is actively participating and contributing.  The focus of the discussions is not simply to cover all the agenda topics but to create an inclusive and positive environment for everyone to be heard.  This improves team relations and collaboration, it increase transparency and it improves the organizational culture as well.

“To do” minutes for meetings template:

  Goals/Objectives                             Activities/Implementation Steps Responsibility Timeline Expected Outcomes

Minutes for Meetings Related Articles:

Effective Business Meetings

Effective Meetings

Effective Staff Meetings

Rules for Meetings

Minutes for Meetings Recommended Resources:

Running Meetings: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges

Successful Meetings: How to Plan, Prepare, and Execute Top-Notch Business Meetings

Return from Minutes for Meetings  to Effective Meetings

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

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