Ever since I got into this Change Management role for organizations, I have realized that it is important to be attentive not just in the meeting but even before & after them. Apparently, they are also important because meeting take place when everyone is busy with their regular tasks at job – the junior staff, middle manager and even the top management is busy their core responsibilities, big decisions – and to avoid the misunderstandings, to avoid a situation where things slip away from our preoccupied minds, Minutes of the Meeting is a good idea and shall be followed as a work ritual.
Plan for a meeting
If you are the one who had called for the meeting, it is recommended you appoint a person to take down the minutes of meeting. Right from the agenda of the meeting, date & time for meeting, the attendees should be recorded. It is always better to set the outline for step 2. This should be done closely with the meeting chair.
And outline helps in case the minutes of the meetings are asked to be shared as handouts for one and all. For an even detail understanding you can also refer to the Robert’s Rule.
What to Record
It is very imperative to understand the Agenda of a meeting and what are the results sought from it. One must keep note of the following:
- Motions discussed
- Acceptance & amendments made in ongoing business functions
- The significant decisions made
- The strategy talked about & chosen to be incorporated for
- Timelines discussed
- Roles & responsibilities shouldered on
- Review Meeting – date & time
The above points are important to make sure that a meeting time is well utilized and optimum results can be expected. While now we know what all should be a part of MOM, here are few tips which one must know to write the MOM effectively,
- Create an outline/template.
- Take the attendance – this is helpful also when you do not know everyone who is a part of the meeting.
- Do not try to take dictation or capture it all, understand the importance of MOM and accordingly make notes.
- There is nothing wrong in asking for clarification. Make sure you MOM is all correct & validated information.
- Make a Call to Action head in the MOM and consider getting it signed/validated by the members involved.
How to Write the Minutes of Meeting
Now that we know what all to record, it is important to understand the process of writing minutes of a meeting. The following are the points I follow to write minutes of the meeting:
- Take important notes during the meeting and do not try to capture it all as that might lead you to concentrate only on making notes and disturb your participation in the meeting.
- Complete the document right after the meeting to avoid missing on any important points.
- Edit to ensure clarity and detailing.
- For Board meetings, mention the important arguments made for decisions made.
- Be objective and avoid repetitions.
- Make sure that you do not end up writing anything which sounds like a Personal Observation.
- Attach any referred documents, reports based on which the decisions were take as appendix with the MOM.
Sharing Minutes of the Meeting
The most commonly used sharing mode for MOM is – email to the attendee as an official record. However, MOM for some of the top level/board meetings is also converted into hand-outs for future actions and timely actions.
Technology has made it easier and offers many more options through – Cloud Sharing. MOM can now be shared instantly through Google Docs, OneNote, and Ever Note etc for instant & easy discussions. They offer the ease to access and edit the same document to all the users it is shared with and hence more time & effort saving.
As a conclusion, we must understand the importance of MOM, they are significant for they are a record of important discussions and also they mark the future course of prominent actions being devised for business.