Court reporters are some of the most successful people on the planet. Why? Because our profession is in constant change, and we choose to stay up with all of the new technology and change right along with it. I believe reporters are more familiar with computers, software, and the web than almost any profession. We learn our CAT software. The standard laptop does not even have enough USB ports for the reporter in her/his day-to-day job. We use serial ports to connect to our writers, wirelessly or not; connect to attorneys’ browsers, wirelessly or not; we magnify audio; stream text via internet; handle exhibits in a Zoom setting. We are uploading and sharing huge files with scopists, doing constant research on the web for spellings. I suppose a person is attracted to court reporting because they love a challenge and hearing/learning about almost every subject known to man.
I just read another really great article, “How Successful People Become Even More Successful.” It was written by Marshall Goldsmith with Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth.
The beginning of the article states, “While most of us can easily see the need to change the behavior of others, we often have great difficulty in changing ourselves! As we become more successful, it seems even harder to change.”
After reading the article, my mind started thinking, “Hmm. How does that affect me? How does that statement relate to court reporting?”
I have had the privilege of grading the CRR (Certified Realtime Reporter) test for NCRA. When I use the word “privilege,” I choose that word very deliberately. It boggles my mind that someone can sit there and write perfect, beautiful steno, inserting punctuation, capitalizing the proper names, and getting almost every word page after page after page. Reporters who are CCRRs, CRRs, RMRs are the best of the best. One would think they don’t really need to ever change. They are totally successful.
So how does the statement above affect me and my profession? Later in the article Charles Handy states, “the ‘paradox of success’ occurs because we need to change before we have to change. However, when things are going well we often feel no reason to change.” I have had to read that statement at least five times to start to understand it. I instinctively know it is a statement of truth and on-point.
Two of the most successful reporters I know are Mike Miller and Merilee Johnson. I am a huge fan of Mike and Merilee. Both of them are always pushing the envelope, looking for ways to use new technology, with the goal of giving great service to their clients, bringing gadgets and gizmos to depos, writing amazing realtime, and beta testing new software for Stenograph http://bit.ly/RORgB. Mike freely shares his knowledge with his fellow reporters and, I believe, is helping to re-brand the profession. Do you think Mike and Merilee feel there is no reason to change because they are already successful and really sought after as court reporters?
I love it when the universe is aligned and my life is going great. In such moments I stop and acknowledge the feeling – finally. The last thing I want to think about at that moment is changing and doing things differently. Yet after reading the quotes above, I’m thinking, when a person is “on top of the world,” that would be the best time to shift and begin some creative thinking for new ideas.
Action Step: The next time I think that I have everything in my court reporting bag of tricks that I need, I will stop, email one of the great reporters in the USA and ask, ‘What’s new out there? Do you have any new cool urls or gadgets you’ve found?” Let’s help each other re-brand to be better than ever.