Unless you’re working in a well-developed organization, you may not come across meeting minutes. “Meeting minutes” are literally the minutes (or moments) recorded from a meeting. When there are many members in the meeting, it’s likely there will be plenty of information, recommendations, cross-talk, possible disputes, ideas, all sorts of content traveling in the room. If the group is organized, the idea to record these communications will come to mind, with someone being assigned the responsibility to record. Typically this is the administrative individual, or it can be anyone who elects to volunteer for it.
Reasons to Take Minutes?
1. Records members’ statements. It’s important for your group to have a track record of who contributes what during these times. Meetings are focused experiences designed to achieve some end, whether that’s to make a decision or work towards understanding something. Members with recorded statements strengthen accountability.
2. Keeps a general record of the group. If you’re group is organized as an official entity, such as a non-profit, LLC or corporation, these meeting minutes may be mandatory to maintain. They may be called upon for review annually. If not an official entity, you’ll benefit from building an archive of official meeting minutes because they…It helps to also include the names of the contributors with their communication. If Karen suggested to table a new idea for the next meeting, it should be written that Karen stated it, rather than say the idea was simply tabled.
3. Can be used for reflection. The strategic map for whatever vision you’re collectively working on will transform over time. The minutes will give you a continuous landscape view of how that transformation takes place. Recording minutes offers you insight into where your focus has been and how to progress.
Generally, you can learn about minutes from Robert’s Rules. Here are some basics you want to include on the document:
1. The Meeting Date
2. The Attendees
3. Anyone Absent That Should’ve Been Present (Optional)
4. Time of the Meeting’s Start (down to the exact minute; if it’s 5:02pm, that’s recorded)
5. Current Business (any dealings on the table now)
6. New Business (any new dealings on the table)
7. Time of the Meeting’s End (also exact)
8. Main Attendees’ Signatures (perhaps the meeting organizer, CEO, leader, etc.) for Approval
Give yourself and your team an additional sense of professionalism by adopting meeting minutes.