Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings

Subject: Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings
From: "George F. Hayhoe" <george -at- ghayhoe -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 09:48:20 -0500

Taking meeting minutes does not require that the minutes-taker
transcribe everything that is said. It does require that he or she pay
close attention to the discussion, make notes about trends in the
discussion, and record decisions reached and subsequent actions to be
taken. The discussion at a one-hour meeting can generally be
crystallized into one page or less in relatively little time.

I've never found that taking minutes in this way hindered my ability
to participate actively in the discussions.

As several others have pointed out, being the designated minutes-taker
at meetings not only allows technical communicators to add value to
the meeting by distilling the important information from the
discussion, but it also ensures that our point of view is heard,
sometimes in contexts that it would otherwise not be heard in.

In my last gig as a captive, as documentation team lead in an IT
department with 400+ employees, I was regularly invited to attend
meetings of senior management to take minutes. They didn't want a
secretary who wouldn't understand the subtleties of the discussion.
And the department manager made it clear that I was expected to
participate, not just take minutes.

--George Hayhoe (george -at- ghayhoe -dot- com)

George Hayhoe Associates
Voice: +1 (803) 642-2156
Fax: +1 (803) 642-9325
http://www.ghayhoe.com

Winner of Three APEX 2000
Awards for Publication Excellence



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