Written on: February 12, 2018
by Elisa Coleclough
“Montoto” and “Cadorna” – How non-judgmental attitude and questioning open doors
How are you dear readers? Hope you are awesome. Let me share with you today a fun story which happened to me a while ago.
I was working in Buenos Aires and I was in a meeting. We used to take turns to take the “minutes of the meeting” and that time was my turn. The fact is that during the whole meeting packed with projects, improvements and to-do’s there were some stake holders, and I was diligently jotting down the names to have them involved.
As the meeting progressed, the name Montoto and Cadorna were mentioned along the way, I immediately thought I did not know those people but after the meeting I would look for them in Outlook.
I remember that I spent a while looking for those people and I could not find them. After a while I decided that my search was fruitless and that maybe this people were contractors or something the like, reason why they were not in the internal Outlook email directory.
I remember I was having lunch with a colleague so I went to pick her up dropping by her place and I asked her like it was just occasional questioning “Hey, you know I cannot find these two guys, Montoto and Cadorna are not in the email, who are they?”
No sooner had I finished my line that not only her but everyone around her would burst out laughing. Were they laughing at me? Clearly no. It was at what I had said. I immediately asked if I had used a bad word? And they said “no”. So I was on the safe side and their laughter was contagious so I laughed along.
The fact that Cadorna and Montoto are what are Argentines call like “God-like help you” it is sort of an imaginary man that might solve all our problems, this I learned from that.
They all gave me a list of funny examples even acted them for me, so after that I was clear that Mr. Cadorna and Mr. Montoto did not work for our company nor were they contractors.
Jesus, I am still laughing while I write this. It was a fun way for everyone in my friend’s team, to meet me and get to help me from there on. I had reacted contrary to my own nature, and it had worked wonderfully. My own nature would have been to react defensively or feeling vulnerable because after two years working in Buenos Aires, no one had introduced me to these two “strangers”.
The truth is vulnerability is assertiveness at times, it opens more doors than it closes when used correctly at the right moment.
Later on I learned thru coaching process that asking open ended questions and curiosity are great effective tools to connect and communicate. We learn that asking questions means gather information, but open ended questions really foster curiosity make us and the people interacting with us think purposely.
Remember what I mentioned in my earlier article about the unconscious (link here) about the subconscious mind processing 4 billion bits per second. Amazing right? It can all be accessed thru the right questions.
When we ask, we dare to questions ourselves and our status quo. Furthermore, we reckon we do not know everything and that is absolutely alright. Remember that questions are essential to awareness as famous Greek philosopher highlighted in his quote:
“The quality of a person’s life will always be in direct proportion to the quality of questions that person is willing to ask themselves” — Socrates.
By asking the right questions we will not only learn about Montoto and Cadorna but also, we will elicit mental organic growth. The right question focus on the object of learning not on being judgmental.
For example, a classic question would be: is this an effective strategy? The answer would be either yes or no. it brings about judgment because you are either a good strategist or a bad one. Instead a effective question non-judgmental and oriented to growing awareness in the person would be: what other strategy you can make besides the one you are making?
Notice that the second question focuses on the response or its quality. It is triggers the mental process of analysis and awareness. This is what we want in order to create growth, progress, awareness, mental connection and evolution.
When we use the coaching process, we connect to ourselves in a safe environment, where judgement is left outside and our only goal is to become curious and find our mental “Montotos” that will loosen up the doors of imagination, creativity and growth to a better life.
Finally, in my personal experience, not only did I gain their kindness, help and patience, but also there was always a good icebreaker to start any conversation with a smile, such as: “Hey, have you seen Mr. Montoto around?” wink, wink.
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Looking forward to your comments, feedback. Have a great day/week, Eli