Be Careful Not to Commit These 7 Mistakes When Writing Meeting Minutes
You need to prevent seven crucial mistakes if you are responsible for writing meeting minutes in your office or organization. In many cases, you may not be aware that you are committing these mistakes. Or you might make these mistakes because you do not recognize them yet. Whichever applies in your case, you need to improve very quickly so that your meetings will not be chaotic. So during subsequent meetings, listen carefully and be watchful so that you do not make any of these mistakes anymore.
Identifying 7 Mistakes in Writing Meeting Minutes
- Neglecting to Put Quorum Information When Writing Meeting Minutes: This is very important because if the minutes do not clearly refer to a quorum, someone may challenge group decisions. You should always mention if a quorum was reached to avoid conflict.
- Neglecting to Assure Accuracy of Meeting Minutes: You correct this by relying on precise descriptions of the actions and decisions of the group through the meeting minutes. The language used should be very specific so that the minutes are accurate.
- Doing Without Attendance Records in Meeting Minutes: This is closely related to Mistake #1. You should indicate in the attendance record who voted about what and who made a decision that the group will second. The attendance will also show who was absent during the meeting. The issue tackled during that meeting may indicate if the attendance is important.
- Rendering Inaccurate Records About Voting Conducted During Meeting: This is closely related to Mistake #3. Inaccurate records about votes will be misleading since others will not know who cast a dissenting vote. You should also indicate who abstained if any did. This will inform the rest of the group, particularly those who were not present, about who was pro or con.
- Neglecting to Cite a Supermajority Vote Required for an Issue: Sometimes, when writing meeting minutes, you may forget to indicate that a supermajority is actually required for a specific issue. The supermajority vote is crucial especially if the issue is critical to the interests of the group.
- Not Specifying Conduct of Executive Session by Board of Directors: An executive session is important because of its implications on attorney-client privilege, particularly if the organization is participating in litigation. It is better for you to show which of the topics of the meeting are crucial, in the minutes you will provide.
- Neglecting to Update Corporate Record with Meeting Minutes: Yes, you are the group member with the task of writing meeting minutes. So, you should always remember that these should be included in the corporate record too. You are providing minutes of the meeting so that future members of the board of directors will be able to look back and see what was discussed in previous board meetings. Think of it this way – everyone should be well informed about the decisions and actions of the group during the board meeting. Eventually, the group may need this information for future group decisions and actions too.
You might commit one or more of these big mistakes when writing meeting minutes. To avoid these, you should always bear in mind that others will need to read through the meeting minutes eventually. So, dedicate yourself to being accurate and specific through the meeting minutes that you will report about. You should always store the minutes within the corporate record. That way, you provide access to those who will read through the minutes. This applies whether you are one of the board of directors or simply a secretary assigned to the task.
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