Roles and responsibilities at meetings

If roles and responsibilities at meetings are not clear a lot of time may be wasted. Where there is designated chairperson, minute-taker and identified people to present on particular subjects, meetings are likely to lack structure, minutes and take place in a chaotic and haphazard way.

This can be avoided by allocating clear roles and responsibilities at meetings. At a minimum the chairperson and minute-taker should be identified. The roles and responsibilities in an effective meeting are outlined below.

PersonRoles and responsibilities
ChairpersonThe chairperson of a meeting helps design the meeting and is responsible for ensuring the meeting achieves its objectives. They need to ensure that the agenda and schedule for the meeting are followed. They need to ensure that sufficient time is allowed to present important information and discuss this.They must be inclusive and ensure that all participants can provide their points of view.
Persons to speak on issues at meetingsIt is often useful to get the most knowledgeable person, or the most affected person on a particular issue to present this issue at a meeting. This person must be properly briefed before the meeting about the purpose of their contribution and the desired outcome. Instructions on the material to be presented, such as report or presentation and timeframes should also be provided. The role of this person is to present the topic succinctly and be available to answer questions that may arise.
Minute takersMinute takers capture discussions and agreements reached in meetings in a structured format. Minutes must be an accurate record of the meeting and it is therefore important that the minute taker captures key issues. Where necessary, they must be able to ask for clarity during the meeting. On important issues on fast-moving projects it sometimes is necessary for minute takers to read their minutes back to participants during the meeting so that this can be agreed as a true record straight away. Minute takers must be able to discern the most important issues at a meeting and be able to draft succinct minutes which captures these issues while avoiding lengthy minutes unnecessary detail. Minute takers must also have sufficient time to draft the minutes immediately after the meeting so that these can be checked and shared within 3-4 days after a meeting. It is important to include a process during meetings that ensures that participants have read minutes of previous meetings and agree that this is a true record of the meeting. Where corrections are necessary these should be made and minutes reissued.

A course on effective meetings can be accessed here. Link

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