Monday, September 10, 2007

Is Stress Affecting the Quality of Your Dictation?

Stress in the workplace forces many people to try to work harder and faster. Why are the results of their efforts so often counterproductive? Because faster does not always mean better.

  • In the late 1970s, when the California State Assembly voted to reduce the speed limit on major highways to 55 miles per hour, the measure was not just aimed at conserving fossil fuels: it was also aimed at saving lives.

  • Most professional typists know that the faster they type, the more likely they are to make keyboarding errors.

  • Piano students quickly learn that the proper way to develop dexterity in their fingers is to practice scales slowly and eventually build up speed as the movement in their fingers becomes more fluid. If the proper movement has not been "memorized" by their fingers, they are more prone to mistakes.

Watch this amazing clip from the 1970 recording session of the original cast album of Stephen Sondheim's Company. As Beth Howland delivers Sondheim's supercharged lyrics to "Getting Married Today" at lightning speed, stop for a minute to think what kind of skill it requires to transcribe speech that is so rapid -- and packed so densely -- from a physician who is rushing to finish dictating a report.

[Cartoon #15 ]

Next: Another Way In Which Speed Kills

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