From the desk of Cheryl Lubow
Librarian, State Library of Ohio
Today I read What to Do with Your Conference Notes (Orange, 2012) which got me thinking. I found that I do the same thing that many people do after continuing education sessions – I file the notes and hand-outs away and rarely look at them again. This is not the best use of the information I have gained. I can say that I am a very good note-taker. So why do I not usually share them with others here at the State Library? My reasons are probably like yours: many projects and work assignments claiming my immediate attention, disorganized filing cabinets, the “it’s almost lunch-time” or the “it’s almost quitting time” excuse…
Orange provided these ideas in her article to reap the most benefit from conferences and webinars:
- Within a week of your return from your conference or training. take an afternoon and separate yourself from the outside world (close your door or find a secluded space).
- Separate the conference materials into the sessions you attended, including exhibits and events.
- Peruse the agenda and other disseminated materials, and your notes, to remind yourself of the content, keeping only the information that you consider useful and productive, including handouts.
- Then, read your notes, and:
- - Identify (with a highlighter) content that you want to remember or even share
- - Attach the presenter(s)’ contact information for possible future reference.
- - List 3-5 key points from the content that will make the difference in your life in the workplace (or write at least one or two succinct paragraphs).
- - Make two copies: one for yourself to be re-read the next day and then filed, and one to include in a report to your administrator, and perhaps your supervisor.
- - After you have reviewed each item, staple everything (minus the copy for your administrator) and place in a folder per conference or per topic in or near your desk.
- As a last step, schedule time on your calendar a few weeks hence to re-read what you filed and to determine if, how and when you might put what you’ve learned into practice.
(Orange, Satia Marshall. Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today’s Leaders. Vol. 9, No. 8, August 2012)
With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to share with you three things I learned this summer during a webinar on interpersonal communication:
- Communicate without a personal agenda. Don’t go into a conversation wanting to prove a point or convince someone that your opinion is the correct one.
- Use positive phrasing. Everyone appreciates an optimist.
- Listen without forming an answer in your head. Give your full attention to the person who is speaking. Later in the conversation you will have time to reflect and answer.
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