As a long-time educator and personal coach, I have been curious about what characteristics make the perfect candidate for court reporting school. Many people buy into one theory or another. Some may say that good candidates will have great English skills or above-average hand-eye coordination. Others will focus on technical skills or being quick to pick up other languages.
While there may be some correlation between these characteristics and success at a court reporter, one thing that all court reporting programs can do to help candidates decide if learning steno is for them is to ask good questions during the initial interview of prospects. In fact, these are great questions for anyone to ask as they ponder their future, as many do during the days leading up to a new year. (The following questions are based on the book, “The One Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” by Phil Cooke, one of many books that raise similar questions to help people assess their strengths and skills.)
1. What comes naturally to you? Is there something that you do easily and well? It might also be the thing where people notice you and where they confirm how well you do something. When do you get into a state of “flow,” a state often determined by the fact that you become absorbed in what you are doing?
2. What do you love? (This doesn’t necessarily have to be work related.) If you are constantly thinking about, reading about, writing about, or talking about a particular topic, it might show you where your passion lies. What topic makes you so passionate that you could potentially be one of the best in the world on that issue?
3. What drives you crazy? What irritates you about the world? What makes you angry? What would you want to change? It could be something that you’re wrestling with in your life at the present moment.
4. What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Consider asking your prospects to reflect on these questions as they decide to enter a school or get ready to graduate. This may truly help you find passionate students who are motivated to succeed.
Lynette Eggers, CRI, CPC, is NCRA’s Assistant Director of Educational Services. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.