Exploring the keys to active listening

From the course: Note-Taking for Business Professionals

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  • Course details

    Learn to take better and faster notes in business settings. Effective note-taking is a core skill that professionals at all levels can improve upon—and this course shows you how. It explains how to decide when to take linear vs. visual notes, how to effectively listen, how to document action plans, and how to effectively write meeting minutes.

    Instructor Paul Nowak also explores techniques for taking notes more quickly, including capturing ideas rather than sentences, improving typing speed, and using simple shorthand.

    The final, bonus chapter walks through a number of note-taking templates from XMind software that help with project planning, SWOT meetings, timelines, and more. This chapter is optional and is not necessary for course completion.


    • Click here to view Paul Nowak’s instructor page

      Paul Nowak

      Founder & CEO, IrisReading.com

      Paul Nowak teaches speed-reading and memory improvement at organizations such as NASA and Google.

      Paul Nowak is the founder and program director of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading training and memory improvement. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and business professionals in major cities throughout the world. He has been a guest speaker at universities that include Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago. His training programs have been taught to employees of NASA, Google, and a number of other Fortune 500 companies.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Welcome

    - 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.

  • Practice while you learn with exercise files

    Download the files the instructor uses to teach the course. Follow along and learn by watching, listening and practicing.

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