Dreading Taking the Meeting Minutes?

I’ve been working in a Project Officer role for a few months, it’s my first time in the role and I feel out of my depth. I really dread having to minute the project meetings because I don’t know what people are talking about, what should I do?

Believe it or not but this is a common problem for most people starting out in a project support role and it does get easier over time with practice. Today you need two things to happen to help you get back on track.

The first, you need to ask for some training. Minute taking is a skill that can be learnt – the problems occur when people just assume that anyone can do it, after all it’s only about taking notes right? Wrong. It’s a skill and you need help to develop that. Talk to your Project Manager or line manager about getting the right training so you can do a better job.

The second thing you can do is talk to your Project Manager about how you want to tackle the minute taking as a team. There are two main roles in a meeting – the chairperson and the minute taker – and together they work out how best to approach the meeting; decide on what gets captured; how to deal with complex discussions and clearly signal when actions are being taken. It’s about working together. Yes, the Project Officer is there to support the Project Manager but really you’re a team so don’t be afraid to ask for help or raise concerns, it’s all about finding ways to do a better job together.

This question came from my regular column in PMI’s Network magazine – if you have a question, leave it in the comments section and we’ll feature it in a future edition.


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