Why do we Take Minutes? - [website] Email Print
Published: 23rd of Mar 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

I'm often astounded at how many people have minute taking as part of their job description, but have never had any training on how to produce an effective set of minutes.


As a result of little or no training, most of those people who count this as one of their functions are just plain terrified of taking minutes and procrastinate as long as possible before they force themselves to transcribe their untidy speed-writing into a well-structured document.

It all speaks to the fact that if you don’t feel competent in a skill, you are likely to view it with both fear and distaste. In short, it becomes a ‘monkey on your back’. You are constantly reminded that they are waiting for you to type them up and are swirling around in your thoughts, even after work is through for the day.

Well, why do you dislike this vital function so much?

These are a few of the reasons people tend to shy away from accepting this duty if they possibly can:

1) You’ve never been trained on how to actually take minutes, so feel incompetent and anxious you aren’t putting your best foot forward.

2) You don’t understand the importance of the minuting document – the fact that it is an account of what transpired and is therefore legal and binding.

3) You are taking minutes in English and it isn’t your home language. It’s very difficult to know the tense, plurals, pronouns and general grammar pitfalls.

4) You don’t know how to format the final document.

5) You don’t know what type of minutes you should be taking.

6) You don’t know the protocol which should be followed in the meeting, when you’re transcribing and finally circulating the completed document.

7) There are no clear guidelines with regards to what is important and what you can leave out.

8) Summarising a long and boring verbal exchange seems almost impossible.

9) Staying focussed is really hard!

10) You simply don’t know the very specific language of minutes.

These are a few of the issues which are raised at our Minute Taking Workshops along with many others which I am sure you’d like to add! Don’t let fear ruin your acquiring this extremely important skill – book yourself onto one of our Minute Taking workshops and find out that you aren’t alone!

Staff Training is a national soft skills training company, contact us at 0861 996 660 for more info or drop us an email.
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