Minute by Minute

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Minute. When pronounced with a long “i” sound (as in “sign” or “dine”), it makes us think of small and tiny. But when spoken with a different phonetic sense (like “spin” and “fin”), it instead means detailed and precise.

In the many meetings we attend, there are occasions when minutes are taken so as to help chronicle the event, the decisions made and the directions that need to be taken. The idea behind having minutes written out is to have a way in which to condense and summarize a conference in an accurate manner so that all attendees are in an implied agreement regarding what was said. Just as a person late to a meeting sacrifices the productivity time of all the others in attendance, the use of minutes conversely save time for those who need to refer back to them or consult the material to become knowledgeable on the matter at hand.

We want our meetings to be effective--not just a huddle time of chit chat where we hear the status of everyone’s various vacations and holidays, gossip idly about office politics or use our mobile devices to play games and send text messages. Even worse, we also don’t want time squandered by a gathering of people who spend too much effort in trying to determine what needs to be gone over.

Although there is no guarantee that any meeting will be an efficient …

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- Mark Twain