Many people say they are intimidated at being asked to take the minutes at meetings which are attended by senior management. Remember you have rights!
It is not acceptable for the chairperson to start the meeting without you being aware of who everyone is – you will end up in despair when it comes to writing the minutes if you are trying to decipher your notes which say the ‘guy in the red tie’ or the ‘lady with the sad hairstyle’!
Even if everyone else knows one another the chairperson should start with introductions even if just ‘for the benefit of the minute taker’. If this does not happen you need to raise it there and then.
Inevitably a lot of bluster and hot air happens at meetings, and often feelings are running high. After a ‘lively debate’ you might have difficulty in knowing what to record. A good chairperson will summarise for you, if not it may be appropriate to ask ‘how would you like me to record that in the minutes’.
If someone is quietly spoken and is sat at the far end of the room you might need to let the chair know you are having difficulty in capturing what is said. If side conversations are taking place and this is distracting you, an appealing look at the chairperson might prompt them to call for order.
As minute taker you should not normally be taking part in the debate (unless it is a team meeting) but supposing a discussion is going on and you have some expert knowledge or have come across the problem before – should you interject?
The other occasion you should feel totally comfortable with interrupting the meeting is to check your understanding of something. If something has been said which you need to record it is better to say it now than to wait until you come to write up the minutes.
Remember your role in the meeting is an important one, if the meeting minutes are not correct and have not recorded everything precisely then the likelihood of positive action as result of the meeting is greatly diminished.
Greg Tyndall of The Minute Taking Training Company is an expert on all aspects of minute taking and the arrangement and management of meetings. Greg has been helping individuals and organisations with their Minute Taking Training needs for over a decade now.
For lots useful tips and resources and to read Greg’s blog visit the Minute Taking Training Company website.
Article Source: Ezine Articles