Alice Dusenberry reports:
"Meetings often involve questions, lengthy discussions[,] and business decisions. Unfortunately, after the meeting is over, the discussions and decisions can be forgotten by those who attended, or misinterpreted by others who did not attend...[A] report known as meeting minutes is an excellent method for recording questions, discussion topics[,] and the decisions. For easy reading, format the meeting minutes into four or five sections with [subheadings] so recipients can quickly scan for the most important information...Use the first section to record basic information about the meeting: date, time the meeting started, location, meeting manager's name, time the meeting ended, and a list of people who attended. If a large number of people attend the meeting, pass around a form for attendees to sign and attach it to the final version of the meeting minutes...If minutes from a prior meeting are read or distributed, record any changes that are noted. In addition, document the follow-up actions taken on any issues that were previously raised. These actions can be progress reports on current projects, information needed for upcoming projects, or reports on problems that were resolved. This section is optional and can be eliminated if no prior meetings were held...[M]inutes should focus on the major reason the meeting was held. Include adequate detail on the topics discussed: names of people who spoke or asked questions, summary of the discussions[,] and the decisions. If a topic or decision was postponed, provide the reason and time frame when it will be reviewed in the future...Each task should be recorded as a bullet item with the name of the assigned person or work team, description[,] and the expected completion date. At the following meeting, the assigned person or work team spokesperson should provide a progress report on the action item. This section is critical and must be accurately recorded by the author of the meeting minutes. It ensures that progress is made toward the business goals by assigning responsibilities to specific people...If another meeting is scheduled, include a final section to indicate the location, date[,] and time."
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