Table of Contents, Career Coach Resources Page Previous Section, Career Coach Next Section, Career Coach

Meetings—Keeping Minutes

Meeting are never isolated incidents. They are part of an ongoing process of information-sharing, problem-solving, decision-making, and planning. Proper documentation can help ensure that decisions are not forgotten and that actions are followed up. This is how it can best be done:

  1. Ensure that you have a secretary either before or at the start of the meeting. This person should be someone other than the meeting facilitator, since it is unlikely that one person can do both tasks properly.

  2. Confirm that the secretary knows how to record the minutes. Minutes can be very detailed, noting differences of opinion on each issue and attributing them to specific individuals, or they can be a summary of what was discussed and agreed upon. The latter approach works best in most situations (see example below).

  3. The secretary should record

    • the time and place;

    • the objectives;

    • attendees;

    • absentees;

    • key discussion points;

    • decisions that were made.

  4. At the end of the meeting have the secretary summarize to ensure that notes accurately reflect what happened.

  5. The secretary should ensure that all actions indicate who will undertake them, when they will be done (specifically, not ASAP), and who needs to be informed.

  6. After the meeting, circulate the minutes. Send them to people who are affected by the decisions taken.

  7. Minutes can be a communications tool. Post them on a bulletin board for all interested people to read.


Table of Contents, Career Coach Resources Page Previous Section, Career Coach Next Section, Career Coach