“Why take notes?” asks Tom Wujec, author of 5 Star Mind. “The obvious reason is to remember. Visual note-taking translates what we hear into pictures that give context, color, and meaning. By adding symbols, visual metaphors, likenesses of people, and room layouts, we add several dimensions.”
Improving your note-taking skills give you the ability to understand concepts, gather thoughts, and share information with other people.
There are numerous settings that could require note-taking. We are going to talk about three different scenarios and learn ways to use note-taking skills in order to meet your everyday professional goals.
Taking good notes is hard, but with these note-taking strategies, you can make it easier and be much more organized, productive, and successful.
Team meetings are an important part of achieving goals. There is a lot of information covered during these types of meetings. Writing down everything you hear is impossible. There are five things to focus on when taking notes:
- Who’s best suited to fulfill tasks in respective areas?
- What’s the ultimate goal?
- What are your advantages?
- The Problems
- What are your setbacks?
- What’s in between your goal and the finish line?
- What’s at risk?
- Can you meet the deadline?
- Who’s in charge of what?
- Group work or individual?
- Who has the final say?
- Further Steps
- When are actions going to be taken to execute the goal?
- Who else do we need to bring in?
- What is the first milestone?
- The questions and comments made during the meeting.
- What was the general sentiment of the team around the decision?
- Did anything that was said come unexpectedly?
Once you’ve covered all five of these things, you are set!
When dealing with one on one meetings, things can get a little tricky! Your goal here is to maintain verbal communication while taking note of what’s being said. In order for you to successfully do that, you must have balance between the two. You do not want to disrupt the intimate verbal exchange of knowledge by only focusing your attention on taking notes.
At times, the intimate personal connection that is created, is more important than getting the words down.
Ways to work around this common struggle is using the remote split-screen capabilities that apps allow. While some people prefer hand-written notes, that is not the most effective way to do it. Taking handwritten notes allows you to give your undivided attention to the subject.
It is easy to forget or lose the notes. You can’t account for your coffee spilling on your notebook because you were rushing into the office and accidentally hit the cup with your elbow. You lose the capabilities of having your notes in a file or cloud that’s accessible from anywhere.
When conducting interviews, you want to have your questions and topics ready prior to the meeting. You’d ask things like, “How would you fit into the company?” and “What contributions could you make?” Consider beforehand what the “perfect responses” would be. In other words, set expectations for good and bad answers.
It is also good to take notes of what you observe as well. Words aren’t the end-all- be-all, body language matters too. If the person you are interviewing is slouched over the desk, chances are they are not what you are looking for.
If you follow these steps for your meetings, you will be successful. Figure out which one works best for you.