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Taking minutes

From: Leading Productive Meetings

Video: Taking minutes

Ever heard of the concept of taking minutes in the meeting? The idea is that one person acts as a scribe and summarizes comments and points covered in the meeting. To some this may seem like an outdated or unnecessary concept, yet I've found that this can be a very effective tool to make sure that everyone is on the same page, both during and after the meeting. First, you'll want to designate someone as the note taker. You can rotate this responsibility; however, I've found that there are some people best suited for this.

Taking minutes

Ever heard of the concept of taking minutes in the meeting? The idea is that one person acts as a scribe and summarizes comments and points covered in the meeting. To some this may seem like an outdated or unnecessary concept, yet I've found that this can be a very effective tool to make sure that everyone is on the same page, both during and after the meeting. First, you'll want to designate someone as the note taker. You can rotate this responsibility; however, I've found that there are some people best suited for this.

These individuals usually have a high attention to detail, and they're very fast note takers. However, you decide to do it, I'd recommend that the meeting leader chooses one person to be the note taker for each meeting. Next, to make the task simple for that note taker, we've provided an outline of how to take notes. Use this outline as is or adapt to your situation. At the top of the form you'll find places to indicate the leader, the note taker, and the date and time of the meeting.

When it comes to the note taking itself, I recommend that the note taker focuses notes on actions rather than trying to cover each word a person says. Listen for and take notes about doing, changing, and making things happen, both inside and outside the group. For example, when summarizing the development portion of the meeting, you might write one sentence about what the development was and then add one or two bullet points about actions that you can take as a result.

When taking notes, make bullet points of the commitments people make. For instance, if during the meeting I commit to Bonnie that I'm going to deliver a document to her next Tuesday, then make a note "Dave will deliver the document to Bonnie by next Tuesday." You'll use these notes in two ways. At the end of the meeting you'll summarize the notes to help with making sure that each person knows their commitments from the meeting. Then after the meeting the note taker can send an email with the notes to everyone who was in attendance, or even was absent. That way everyone has a chance to review again what was covered, and if anyone missed the meeting, they can also feel like they caught the key points of what was discussed.

Keep note taking as simple as possible. The end result we want is to help people follow through on their commitments and strengthen the communication between attendees.

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This video is part of

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Leading Productive Meetings

35 video lessons · 20937 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 
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  1. 1m 32s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 11m 33s
    1. Understanding the principles of successful meetings
      3m 56s
    2. Using technology
      2m 12s
    3. Meeting virtually (audio and video conferencing)
      2m 55s
    4. Understanding the importance of time management
      30s
    5. Deciding between group and one-to-one meetings
      2m 0s
  3. 22m 21s
    1. Determining whether a meeting is necessary
      2m 50s
    2. Scheduling the meeting
      3m 0s
    3. Establishing ground rules
      2m 50s
    4. Determining who is in charge
      3m 21s
    5. Having an agenda
      2m 50s
    6. Preparing development
      4m 30s
    7. Coming prepared
      3m 0s
  4. 26m 5s
    1. Budgeting time
      2m 32s
    2. Taking minutes
      2m 34s
    3. Opening
      2m 32s
    4. Presenting the development
      3m 38s
    5. Following up on commitments
      2m 24s
    6. Giving everyone a voice
      3m 32s
    7. Giving and taking feedback
      3m 14s
    8. Keeping meetings productive and on topic
      2m 27s
    9. Reviewing action items and closing the meeting
      2m 2s
    10. Reviewing minutes
      1m 10s
  5. 15m 39s
    1. Understanding the importance of the one-to-one
      2m 29s
    2. Deciding who to meet with in a one-to-one
      2m 50s
    3. Establishing a one-to-one schedule
      2m 44s
    4. Determining the one-to-one agenda
      1m 56s
    5. Listening effectively ("What do you need from me?")
      1m 36s
    6. Delegating effectively ("This is what I need from you.")
      2m 19s
    7. Reviewing action items and closing
      1m 45s
  6. 4m 12s
    1. Completing action items
      1m 16s
    2. Following up on action items delegated to others
      2m 6s
    3. Reassessing the effectiveness of meetings
      50s
  7. 49s
    1. Final thoughts
      49s

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