Successful business meetings never happen by accident. They are planned gatherings that have a structured method of achieving a result. With many different viewpoints and personalities present, how do you best achieve that golden result?
Begin WITH THE END IN MIND:
Clearly define the meeting’s goal, who are the stakeholders best to be present for information and decision-making capabilities, and the meeting’s format, spelled out in an agenda.
Necessary information to include in notes:
- Date and time of the meeting
- Location Information
- Purpose of the meeting
- Name of the chair or meeting facilitator
- List of attendees
- List of outside guests or participants
- List of absent members
- Approval of previous meeting’s minutes and all resolutions
- Record of principle points discussed, actions taken, and decisions made
- Time of adjournment
- Date, place, and time of next meeting
- Name of person taking the minutes
- Copies of materials distributed at the meeting
- Any audio-visual displays used
Notes should be as detailed as required so that crucial information isn’t missed but summarized to be brief and to the point. As the meeting progresses, be sure to write down key points of information discussed, deliberation notes, and decisions derived.
As the meeting begins, be sure to record who was present via an attendance list or formal introduction process. Feel free to address those who were unable to attend with pleasantries and best wishes.
Write down motions made, topics initiated, and the attendees’ names that originated them. Record if the motions were rejected or adopted via which particular voting method. List any topics that garnered viable discussion and either delivered a result or were tabled for discussion later.