One of my lecturers at university used to say during his lectures "...only take notes so that you remember the concept." Back then, we as students tried to document every word he spoke and was amazed at his ability not to use any reference notes during his discourse. Sure he was versed in his specialty but even as the technology changed he seemed to be "with it", and he kept it interesting and was sure not to lose you during his stint.
Somewhere in there I understood what he was saying about grabbing the concept. Before, when you tried to grasp every word and punctuation the concept was inevitably missed, since you focused on what you were putting on paper. When I took the gamble and worked towards understanding the concept - I aced the course. Since then, the first thing which I work towards is finding the concept and making it into concrete. I wanted to prove it again, and I took a course in Business - "just for the fun of it" some years later...and during the stint, I used to go to class keep quiet and polished off grabbing the concept. In fact I thought the concept was so easy that quite a few persons missed it.
Here are their mistakes:
*They literally wrote every word the tutor spoke
*Most times - when the concept was being highlighted they were focused on the specifics
*Did not try to apply the concept/idea received to other possibilities
*Did not think about the business course as a way to manage their own business but was caught in the "employee" mentality
*DO not get too specific when looking at the concept; trust me - most CEO's work on finding the concept and then how it can be applied.
*Find the concept from the high-level perspective then apply the "add-on"
*Try not to miss the concept, if not as we say in the Caribbean - You are out to sea...