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Miss: Meeting and Chair Essay

1 – Understand the task of taking minutes at meeting

1.1 Describe the purpose of meetings The purpose of meetings is so that organisations can communicate information to others, with their own organisation or other outside organisations. Meetings can be used in different ways and can have different agenda’s to others. They can be used to inform, seek ideas, clarification, resolve problems, discuss proposals, settle disputes and take decisions.

1.2 Describe legal organisational requirements that may apply to minute taking When I am taking minutes I like to make sure that I am ready to follow all requirements by writing myself a list of reminders. For example; title, time, date, place of meeting, names of attendees, apologies, visitor, items, actions required and next meeting date. This ensures that I don’t miss any legal or organisational procedures off and that I can then concentrate on getting the minutes accurate. The minutes must also be correct as it is a legal requirement and there should be no false input included into the minutes. I agree the agenda with the chair and also have the minutes signed off in next meeting once all attendees have agreed on the summary of the minutes.

1.3 Explain the purpose of minutes as an accurate record of discussions and decisions Once I’ve took minutes in a meeting, I like to go through them and type them up in a presentable manner so that it a person, whether or not at the meeting could read and understand them fully. From past experiences, regularly people at the meeting have forgotten details and have referred back to the minutes that were taken. This way everyone has a personal recorded of what took place in the meeting and discussions and decisions can be put into action correctly with everybody on the same page. 1.4 Describe the purpose of documents and terms that are commonly used in meetings There are three commonly used terms used in meetings such as minutes, the agenda and the notice of the meeting. Minutes are put into place so that a record of the meeting can be captured and referred back to.

The minutes should include the place and time of the meeting, its purpose and the meeting chair. It’s important that there are apologies if there are any, the meeting agenda, a review of previous meeting minutes and also the date, time and place of the next meeting. To end the minutes, time of closure must be added. The agenda is put in place so that the meeting can run smoothly and nothing is missed. It is a detailed listing of agenda for meeting and I usually find that copies of agenda’s are give to everybody who has attended or was invited. Before the meeting its self a notice of the meeting must be in place. This can be via email, telephone, letter or face to face conversation. Details must include the date, time, type of meeting, location, the purpose of meeting. Meeting documents are created when the business is meeting to discuss matters pertaining to the present operation and future operation of the business.

1 – Understanding the role of the chair and other formal responsibilities in meetings

2.1 Explain the role of the chair and other formal responsibilities within meetings The chair in a meeting has a big responsibility as well as the minute taker. It is their job to ensure an accurate recorded of the meeting is being produced. They are responsible for the minute taker and agreeing agenda items with them. They must follow the agenda in the correct order and must inform the minute taker of any items to be removed from off the agenda. The chair must summarise specific points from off the agenda before moving onto the next item. They must agree and summarise any long discussions made at the meeting. It is also their job to review the minutes in draft form once the meeting is over.

2.2 Describe how to work in partnership with the chair when taking minutes When taking minutes, before the meeting starts I like to discuss the agenda and approve items. If the meeting is being held in a venue I haven’t been to before, I get advice for the chair (who is usually my manager) details on that particular venue. During the meeting, if I am unsure about a particular discussion being added to the minutes, I approve it with the chair. This is so I can avoid recording any wrong information. Once the meeting is finished I type up the minutes as a draft as soon as possible and have it approved by the chair/manager before distributing them to the members.

2 – Know how to take minutes at meetings 3.1 Explain the purpose of listening actively when taking minutes I find when taking minutes, listening actively is one of the most important factors. The minutes serve a record of discussions and decisions that were agreed in the meeting. Its important listening out for main details which could include dates, times, venue, opinions and decisions are listened to carefully so that no information is lost. Being able to listen actively means that I can be productive and ready to respond, which I feel seeks purpose.

3.2 Explain how to listen actively when taking minutes When taking minutes, I tend to write at an efficient pace but also make sure that the information I put down is relevant. I do this by practice from previous meetings and to gain knowledge of what the meeting is about. If I don’t understand I ask the chair person if they can clarify the facts that I do not understand. I also take into consideration the feelings of speakers and attendees as it gives a better feel to meeting out come. This is also an example of actively listening. I eliminate any distractions or interruptions in order to concentrate on the speaker so that i don’t miss out on any important information or actions that need recording.

3.3 Describe how to take notes during discussions held at meetings

When I take minutes at a meeting, I like to get there early and find out who the chair person is, that way I can get a seat next to them. I then make sure that everybody has the correct paper work and most importantly, the agenda. I always make sure that I have agenda’s to spare encase an attendee does not have a copy. I make sure that I have read through all the paper work before the meeting begins and ask for name of those present. The next part is to listen carefully and write down key words and decisions made. At the end of the meeting I then ask for clarification and to check minutes from the chair.

3.4 Explain the purpose the purpose of getting clarification

The purpose of getting clarification when taking notes is so that you can be sure that the information is correct. If I am in any doubt while taking minutes, I know that it is essential that I ask the chair to clarify what was discussed or agreed. The minutes are important as they are future reference of the meeting.

3.5 Describe how to get clarification If I am lost during the discussion that may occur at the meeting, I simply ask the chair if he or she can clarify what has been said. I can also ask the group in a polite way if they can repeat or talk slowly or more clearly. I give myself time to listen and eliminate distraction.

3.6 Describe different types of minutes and their purpose There are two types of minutes which are known as précis minutes and verbatim minutes. Précis minutes are used to summarise meetings and are hand written or typed. The purpose of these minutes is so that plans, proposals and opinions can be put into consideration and acted upon in a group agreement. Verbatim minutes are usually taken at public hearings. The speaker’s words are recorded and have minor paraphrasing. The comparison of the two is that précis minutes are around discussions and summarising plans and discussions. Verbatim minutes are a record of a public speech there for almost everything must be recorded. 3.7 Describe the different styles of writing that may be used in minute taking There are three different types of minutes that are all different in style and in action.

‘Verbatim minutes’ are a record of each and every word said at a meeting. This type of minute taking is likely to be used to capture the events at a disciplinary hearing for example. Usually they are often long and can be difficult to skim for pacific information. The type of minutes most commonly used and what I use most in the office is ‘Summary minutes. These types of minutes include the discussion leading up to a decision and the action as an end result. I write summary minutes in full sentences rather than bullet points as they are useful as a reminder for participants after the meeting and also ensure that absent colleagues know what decisions were made at the meeting. Finally, action minutes are a type of minutes that simply records what actions have been decided upon, who is responsible and what the deadlines are. The purpose of these minutes is to provide only a record of decisions that need action.

3.8 Explain how to sort, select and structure information to produce minutes When I am producing minutes, I have a certain structure to how I sort and select my minutes. I start by following the agenda and write my minutes in subject order. I summarize my rough notes so that they are clear and well paragraphed. I select action points by using italics, bold or underlining highlighted points. I pay attention to the layout by using bullet points and sub headings when it is necessary. 3.9 Explain what is meant by using the correct tone and professional language in minutes I have learnt that when taking minutes, it is important that the minutes are exact to what happened in that particular meeting. This is so there is an accurate record of what was discussed and actions to go ahead. I focus on the items discussed so there is clear information on what was decided. I change my notes into full clear sentences and in sufficient detail. The main purpose of doing it this way is so that it can be referred back to in full detail and also helps if somebody missed the meeting. The reader will be able to understand what took place at the meeting accurately.

3 – Be able to prepare for taking minutes, as requires 4.1 Prepare for taking minutes as required When I am preparing to take minutes, I make sure that everybody has the correct paper work including the agenda. I establish the format in which the minutes will be taken and make sure I include all items such as, date, time, venue, apologies, all those present, reports and matters discussed. I make sure that no actions have been missed off. Usually someone is assigned by the chair of the meeting. I and other admin staff usually take turns to take minutes. It is also decided by the chair of the meeting whether the minute taker is to transcribes or distribute the meetings minutes to the necessary participants. I also keep the original minutes along with the transcribed versions of minutes. I then prepare minutes for distribution, whether it be by post or email. All of the prepared minutes are formatted so it is easily readable. I send the minutes in a timely manner as it is important that they are sent not too long after the meeting. This way all the members can stay informed. I have the minutes verified and approved before the start of the next meeting in case of any objection to the recorded statements or actions by the chair of the meeting.

4.2 Communicate with the meeting chair, as required When I have taken minutes in the past, I find it essential to communicate with the meeting chair. At the start of the meeting, I go through the agenda and review agreed agenda items with the chair. This gives me a better understanding of what the meeting will involved and helps when writing down the correct and important information. The chair will also follow the agreed agenda in sequence which helps me follow and keep up when taking minutes. In the past, the chair has informed me if any of the agreed agenda has been removed. This helps keep me in the loop and again, helps me to understand where we are at in terms of the meeting agenda. Sometimes when there is a lot of discussion, valid points and important actions can be missed. My chair always summarizes all items so I am able to get all of the correct and important information recorded. By communicating with the chair I feel it helps the meeting run smoothly and helps towards the minutes be accurate. My chair always reviews my final draft before it is sent to relevant participants.

4.3 Note any changes to the agenda, matters arising and action points from last meeting When I have been in a meeting and changes are made, I make a note of any changes that maybe made last minute. This is so there is no confusion when referring back to the agreed agenda and the drafted minutes. I always keep copy/copies of the matters that arose in the last meeting and all the action points. It is very important as the meeting can tend to be around targets from previous meeting/meetings.

4 – Be able to minute meetings 5.1 Take notes at a meeting of all items required I have taken minutes on numerous occasions whilst working alongside food banks, staff meetings and joint work with surrounding organizations. What I did when taking minutes for joint works with Moving On WL and The Engine Rooms: This meeting took place in the Engine Rooms 4th October and started at 9.30 till 12.30pm. I organized copies of the agenda prior meeting and agreed agenda with the chair, Greg Mitten. I prepared white boards so that the group could write down actions to refer back to during the meeting. I took note of all those present, apologies, meeting agenda agreement and the necessary date, time and venue. All items were followed accordingly from the agenda and actions were made and requested to different parties. There were agreed dates for the next two meetings so that the actions can be reviewed. I then drafted the meeting notes and had them checked by the meeting chair. There was some adjustment to be made, which I did and had them reviewed. They were then verified and I went on to distribute the agenda’s by email and hard copies were given.

5.6 Agree minutes with the relevant people and circulate them within the agreed timescales After taking my first set of minutes, I learnt that I had to have them agreed signed off at the next meeting. The chair reviewed and summarized the previous minutes in front of the attendees from the last meeting. The minutes were then agreed and when then able to be signed off. In regards to the timescale in which the minutes are sent, I leave them no longer than seven days. I usually have the minutes drafted the same day and verified by the chair. This way the minutes can be sent the following day. In meeting we circulate a timescale of 7 days with all that are present at the meeting.

5.9 Store notes and minutes following organizational procedures After the minutes are signed off, I store them in a pacific file on our data base so that there is always an excisable way to view them if needed. I also keep the original notes and draft in the filing cabinet so that if reviewing is needed, we have a back up of the original copy. This copy is the signed of copy so that there is proof of signature.

5.10 Follow legal and organizational requirements for minute taking, as necessary In the past when I am taking minutes I like to make sure that I am ready to follow all requirements by writing myself a list of reminders. For example; title, time, date, place of meeting, names of attendees, apologies, visitor, items, actions required and next meeting date. This ensures that I don’t miss any legal or organisational procedures off and that I can then concentrate on getting the minutes accurate. The minutes must also be correct as it is a legal requirement and there should be no false input included into the minutes. I agree the agenda with the chair and also have the minutes signed off in next meeting once all attendees have agreed on the summary of the minutes.


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