You may have noticed that every company and organization conducts meetings regularly. You must have attended meetings yourself frequently especially if you work in an office or even a business establishment. These sessions are deemed important because it is through these gatherings that essential organizational issues and many predetermined topics are brought to the table and discussed by every participant involved.
What are the different roles and responsibilities of the attendees in a meeting? Depending on the type of meeting conducted, selected individuals are called to join the session. For example, a departmental meeting consists exclusively of those who are part of the said department.
A manager’s meeting does not include subordinates and junior employees. An ad-hoc meeting is intended for a few chosen participants identified for a special purpose or task. Regardless of the type of meeting though, every meeting is not just attended by participants alone. Generally, a meeting is composed of a facilitator or a chairperson, a minute taker or note-taker, and the meeting participants or attendees.
Meeting Facilitator or Chairperson
The meeting facilitator plays a neutral role in the session and ideally does not join in discussions and contribute ideas to the group. The main task of the facilitator or the chairperson is to assist the group in generating a successful meeting outcome and to guide the members in achieving the meeting objectives.
The main scope of role includes preventing conflicts to arise during discussions, supplying methods and procedures in discussing an agenda, and making sure that each member takes an active participation in the session. The chairperson acts as the supervising officer, police or traffic officer, or the meeting guide. As the facilitator, part of the responsibility is taking care of the meeting logistics and preparation.
However, in certain types of sessions such as that of a leader-led or a work meeting, the chairperson does not necessarily stay neutral during the whole process. The meeting manager or chairperson is an active participant especially during the decision-making aspect.
Unlike the facilitator, the meeting manager may set certain constraints and control if the meeting does not follow a harmonious process. Also, during the brainstorming or discussion, the manager is free to contribute ideas and comment on other people’s opinions.
These individuals are the active participants during a meeting. They are the ones called for to attend a meeting. As stated earlier, the attendees of a certain type of meeting are selected individuals and are called for by invitation. They join a meeting in response to a meeting request sent out by the facilitator or meeting organizer.
The participants may or may not attend the meeting but should only do so under reasonable grounds. Other than that, every participant is required to be present since meetings have urgent needs and goals to be attended to. The meeting members play a major role during the discussion and decision-making.
They are expected to interact actively in activities like brainstorming. Because they can create suggestions and can even precede the function of a facilitator, these participants broadly determine the course of the meeting. Without meeting members, a meeting is not called as such.
The minute taker is otherwise known as the note-taker or recorder. This person takes a neutral stance just like the facilitator. The minute taker does not get involved in agenda evaluation, decision-making process, and interaction among meeting members.
The primary role of this individual is to record ideas accurately as discussed by the members. The note-taker may utilize a journal, notebook, or a laptop for recording of ideas. It is important that during the note-taking, the ideas are not edited and paraphrased but should be written down and should replicate the exact words as stated by each participant.
However, verbatim recording is not suggested especially in a fast-paced discussion. When scribbling down notes, key words and highlighted ideas are what should be outlined on the paper.
The minute taker helps in the wrapping up of the meeting proper with the gathered notes from the participants’ ideas. The members need not worry of having their ideas left unheard as everything is captured by the recorder.
Every role in a particular meeting is regarded as important to the success of a meeting. So in whatever role you take when attending a meeting, be sure to carry out your task and responsibilities professionally.