Join Paul Nowak for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the keys to active listening, part of Note-Taking for Business Professionals.
- One of the keys to taking good notes is to become a good listener. This video will teach you how to become an active listener during a meeting. This could be a group meeting where you are the participant or leader, or this can apply to one-on-one meetings as well. Listening is not a passive skill. It takes effort to actively listen. You've probably experienced passive listening before. Have you ever spaced out while you were in school or when someone was talking to you? That's passive listening. You're hearing the words, but you're not really understanding much. Active listening requires focus, so you first need to make sure that you try to eliminate distractions.
That may include turning off your phone or getting rid of your laptop if you absolutely don't need it during the meeting. And I'm not just talking about putting your phone on vibrate because even that can distract you from actively listening. I've heard of some companies that even collect cell phones at the door before the meeting starts just to ensure people don't get distracted. Getting rid of distractions will help you listen with more focus. Active listening also requires the right kind of body language. Leaning in, nodding at the appropriate moments and maintaining eye contact are all great ways to stay attentive.
Another key to listening is paraphrasing and repeating back what you heard, or to ask questions that clarify what's being discussed. While you're listening, you also want to be on the lookout for main points that are being discussed. Listen for statements like the thing to remember is, or phrases like my point is. These phrases should trigger you to pay more attention so you can listen more effectively. And of course, always try to let the person who's talking finish rather than interrupting them. This is not just common courtesy, but it also ensures that your fully listening to them before making points of your own.
So, if you keep these techniques in mind, you'll become a more active listener, and therefore, a more effective notetaker.
Author Paul Nowak also explores techniques for taking notes more quickly, including capturing ideas rather than sentences, improving typing speed, and using simple shorthand. The course also offers a number of note-taking templates to help prepare for project planning, SWOT meetings, timelines, business travel, and more.
- Exploring the keys to active listening
- Focusing on the ideas
- Capturing an action plan
- Taking notes while reading
- Creating to-do lists, project plans, and meeting notes