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Creating a list of minute-taking ‘standards’

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Meeting Management,Office Management

“Write this down in the minutes,” demands a board meeting attendee, implying that his clout alone should be reason enough for you to do what he says, right or wrong.

In such a situation, you could use minute-taking standards, an objective tool that the board of directors approves in advance.

Learn how to create minute-taking standards for your company with this audio recording on Taking Effective Meeting Minutes

“Standards give you an out,” says Marilyn Halsall, an admin who conducts a seminar called “The Art of Minute Taking.”

Here’s how to set them up:

1. Prepare a set of minute-taking standards for board members to review, stating what you believe should and should not be recorded in the minutes (see ideas listed below). Create examples of sample minutes to reflect those standards.

2. Ask the chair to circulate the standards and the sample minutes to the board members for review. Say, “In past meetings, members have argued about what should go in the minutes, which has created tension. I’ve drafted minute-taking standards that I believe will prevent future problems. My suggestion is that we circulate these standards to members, then vote on them at a future meeting. Does that sound like a good idea?”

Once the board members approve the standards, you can tell adamant attendees, “I understand that you want the minutes recorded this way, but I’m operating under the board’s policy on minutes. The policy states here that minutes are not to be recorded as you suggest. I have to follow our policy.”

From the 8 things you must do before a meeting starts to the proper format for submitting minutes after the meeting is over – and everything in between – Taking Effective Meeting Minutes will take you through the minute-taking process step-by-step. You’ll emerge more competent … more confident … and more valuable than ever before. Order now!

Ideas for minute-taking standards:


  • Minutes will reflect what was done by the group, not what was said by members.
  • Names will be omitted from the minutes where they are not significant to the discussion.
  • Minutes will include all actions to be taken and by whom, with deadlines indicated when necessary.
  • Discussions will be summarized in one or two sentences.
  • Declarations of conflict of interest will be recorded.
  • Each business item listed on the agenda will be included in the minutes.

Minutes will record all motions, passed and defeated, the results of those motions and the expected actions.

After many requests, the editors of the Administrative Professional Today newsletter have produced a unique tool designed to improve your skills in this vitally important area.

Taking Effective Meeting Minutes will help you:
  • Master the appropriate way to take, write, draft and distribute meeting minutes
  • Establish guidelines and check-off lists to ensure quality
  • Feel comfortable with the role of meeting recorder
  • Review samples and illustrations of appropriate agendas and minutes
  • Determine what information should be captured
  • Know how to prepare your draft and final copy
  • Correct, file and index minutes
  • And much more!

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