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April 10, 2019

Comments

Tracy

Dear Lynn:

Thank you for the business blog. I have been following your blog for a while now. Now I am taking one of your online courses - business writing tune-up.

English is my second language. I am an admin assistant. The role includes taking meeting minutes. Often time, managers/directors discuss some sensitive / HR matters at meetings. Would you advise how to record the minutes in a way show that the issues were discussed but recorded in a non-judgmental or diplomatic way.

Thank you so much for your help.

Tracy

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for sharing your question. First, I would suggest that the portion of the meeting that covers sensitive issues should be considered an "executive session." This is a private session whose discussion should not be shared beyond the room and which has a separate set of minutes that go only to the attendees in the executive session. If you follow that approach, you don't have to worry about others seeing and reacting to the minutes.

I also suggest that you ask the group whether they want any details of the HR discussion to be included in the minutes.

Beyond that, your wording should be neutral and factual rather than emotional and speculative.

Here is an example I just made up. You would NOT write something like this:

Katia shared that an employee, Ralph Green, has been late way too many times. She has tried, but she has been unable to get him to understand the seriousness of the situation. He acts like it's no big deal. The group recommended that she write a disciplinary warning letter when he is late again, letting him know what would happen next. Katia agreed with that approach.

You WOULD write something like this if the group wants the discussion topics included in the minutes:

Katia asked the group for advice on how to handle an employee's recurring lateness. She accepted the group's recommendation to meet with the employee and present a warning letter and performance improvement plan if the lateness occurs again.

I hope these ideas are helpful.

Lynn

Charley

OMG, I'm so glad to stumble onto your blog. I dislike taking minutes. Is there a secret to this task? I welcome all suggestions and any help you can offer :-)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi Charley,

Take the free preview of my online course Meeting Notes Made Easy:
https://courses.syntaxtraining.com/courses/meeting-notes-made-easy

Also click on the links in the blog post above to read more. You'll get a lot of free information. Then if you want to invest in your skills, take the entire Meeting Notes Made Easy course. Perhaps you have an employer who might pay for it.

Good luck!

Lynn

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