In the previous article “Team operation by Goal – Challenge – Action”, we mentioned about 3 key techniques for project operation including Meeting technique, Challenge management technique, Action management technique.
In this article, we will take a closer look into the Meeting technique.
Meeting technique is reflected in the task of minute-taking
- The Leader needs to have meeting organization technique in order not to waste time of meeting participants.
- In principle, the act of meeting organization also includes 3 parts: Goal – Challenge – Action. The quality of the meeting is ultimately reflected in the Meeting Minutes:
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- Note down the time and participants
- Meeting content is accurately recorded
- Minutes are produced by the following day
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- Summarize the Goal and Conclusion of the meeting at the beginning of the Minutes
- To-do’s, persons in charge and deadline are clearly mentioned
- Minutes are produced within 1 hour after the meeting
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- Manage to sum up the Goal and Conclusion from the meeting content, even when the goal and conclusion are vague
- Come up with Challenge and Action from the meeting content
- Complete the minutes by the end of the meeting
Level 1 Meeting Minute
1. Starting – Finishing time: accurate to 15-minute units
2. Location: accurate to the name of the meeting room
3. Participants: include job titles
4. Content: include all statements from each participant, including greetings and introductions.
※Readers’ sentiment: Half of the content may be statements that are irrelevant to the Goal and Challenge, it is difficult to find the conclusion.
Level 2 Meeting Minute
Considerate of the readers – Goal and Conclusion
1. Time: same as Level 1.
2. Location: same as Level 1.
3. Participants: same as Level 1 + important persons are listed on top.
4. Goal of the meeting: Report A, confirm B, explain C.
- Report on matter A, including how it is, what needs to improve
- Confirm matter B and provide evaluation of the result: is it OK?
- Decide if the explanation of matter C is enough and if there is any necessary additional explanation
6. Actions: What, Who, When.
7. Content: only include statements that are relevant to the goal of the meeting
8. Plan for the next meeting: when, where and what about.
Level 3 Meeting Minutes:
3.1. Meeting based on the minutes
- Usually, the meeting is considered the center and the minutes are the reflection of its content. However, at this level, the minutes become the center and the meeting is held based on the minutes’ format so that only the desired content will be produced.
- At first, you need to put yourself in the perspective of the host or the guest to write the minutes.
We are the Host
- Meeting on our Team’s progress.
- Periodic meetings with clients.
We are the Guest
- Internal meetings, asked to join the meeting without knowing the purpose.
- Meetings where several companies attend and take turn becoming the host.
3.2. Beginning of the meeting
- If you are the Host, refer to the minutes of the previous meeting to check the purpose of the meeting this time, in addition to the new issues occuring between the two meetings, and make statements based on that.
- If you are the Guest, ask the Host the purpose of the meeting. After listening, confirm the purpose by paraphrasing using our own words.
3.3. Points of attention
- If you are the Host: Explain the challenge to be solved.
- For example, the status of the project, the issues you are facing, the challenge you are working on, the Actions you are taking.
- If you are the Guest: proactively look for the challenge to be solved.
- Usually, when the Goal is unclear, the Challenge is also unclear.
- When that happens, you must be in the position to look for the challenge to solve. For example, during the report on completed project tasks, you need to question if there is still any issue or challenge here?
3.4. End of the meeting
- If you are the Host: Decide and inform who will be in charge of which challenge, or who, what, when to solve the challenge. Decide and inform the next meeting plan.
- If you are the Guest: If the meeting falls into a state of confusion, it is difficult to control when you are not in charge. When that happens, steer the meeting back to the right direction by asking such questions as “What issues are we facing here?”, or propose “I think we need to do the following tasks…”.
Become a pro by practicing minute-taking
- Take minutes to improve your business writing skill.
- Assign members to take minutes, starting from level 1 and then level 2.
- If you are the leader but you have not yet reached level 3, practice first until you reach level 3 before asking your members to take minutes.
- Meeting organization should also follow the formula Goal – Challenge - Action
- There are 3 levels to minute-taking: level 1, 2, 3. The members of the project should be at level 2, while the leader should be at level 3.
- Level 1: Take note of all the meeting content, including irrelevant content.
- Level 2: Be considerate of the readers. Summarize the purpose and conclusion in the beginning.
- Level 3: Skillfully steer the direction of the meeting and take minutes based on the formula Goal – Challenge - Action. The direction will depend on your position, being the host or the guest.
- Minute-taking is an important skill. Practice yourself and challenge your members.
- Look back at how you have been taking meeting minutes. Why did you use that method?
- Test yourself and your team members to see what level you are at.
- From now on at any meeting, put yourself in the position of the host or the guest and practice level 3 minute-taking.