I have a bias. I believe the best learners/listeners become the best leaders. When I participate in any discussion that is of a business nature, I write down notes. Most importantly, I find that note taking is a form of listening. When I present something and/or participate in a meeting I learn a lot about the participants by their note taking. My experience is that people who do not take notes often are wandering around in their own heads and not really listening. Frankly, the message to me is that they are not that interested. Do they care?
Watch the best listeners and they are often head nodders and eye contactors. They look at you and nod… and then take notes. Wow they’re listening.
Listening is one of the key elements of respect. Try writing your way to listening. You may find that your ability to understand increases significantly. More importantly the respect between you and those you interact with will be enhanced.