A few years back, I ran into a bit of a problem. It required numerous meetings and a lot of negotiation.
I was concerned about the outcome of these meetings so I decided to take every precaution necessary. I prepped, I arrived early, I had my material neatly organized and I had my secret weapon.
Nowadays I suppose it’s not so much a secret weapon as anyone with a smartphone now can utilize it. I’m referring to a digital recorder.
I can’t tell you how useful I found this tool.
It allows me to not only capture what was said, but it allows me to go back over it later in case I may have missed something in the heat of the battle, errr…I mean discussion.
Negotiations aren’t always easy and when it comes to business issues they can get quite heated. The problem with letting our emotions getting the better of us is that we sometimes say things we may not mean or mishear what another says.
So having a recording of just what was said is a powerful review tool.
Just like professional athletes review tape after the game to see how they can improve I find that going over a meeting once or twice later helps me reinforce what was said and agreed upon and at the same time allow me to better prepare for the second round of negotiations.
Knowing that I’m recording a meeting, a lecture or a discussion allows me to focus more on listening and speaking rather than taking notes, except for the major points which I may jot down as we go along.
But after those infamous negotiations were finished, I had a digital recorder just sitting around doing nothing.
So I figured why not put it to some use.
And since that time I have used it to record hundreds of lessons I have had with students and clients.
They are completely private and I treat all my coaching sessions as confidential as a psychologist would but recording our sessions and discussions allows me to go over them at a later date.
If one session is of particular value, I label it so, making it easier to find at a later date.
I have written notes of the sessions as well, but nothing can replace an actual recording of the conversation.
I use it to improve myself and at the same time I use it to analyze client’s habits to better advise them.
In today’s world, there’s simply too much information for any one person to handle which is why we must find ways to take ideas out of our heads and record them in written form, audio form or video form.
By getting them out of our head, it gives our mind more room to move. It allows us to better analyze our language, our ideas and our habits.
Ideas are everywhere. Some are good, some not so good.
When a good idea presents itself, we should take the time to capture it.
We can only write or type (on our smartphones again) so fast. In lectures, sermons or seminars it’s almost impossible to get it all.
Our minds can only capture so much.
With a digital recorder you can always type it up later. Or better yet, if you’re a manager or executive, you can delegate that task to someone on your team.
Heck, with all the various transcribing sites out there you might find that the best way to go.
Remember, in order to be successful you need to do your best to free yourself up to do what you’re most effective at and you can’t do that if you’re always devoting time to typing things up. What’s worse is many people rely on their memory to capture important information which can lead to numerous problems later on.
Worst of all, in the business world you look unprofessional if you miss vital data. Don’t let that be you.
Few people I know put this feature (voice notes on the iPhone) to use.
But believe me when I tell you that you’ll be glad you did when it comes to deals, ideas or he said/she said issues.