Monette’s Mindful Management: Choose Your Answer Well, Part I of III

Monette’s Mindful Management

By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Choose Carefully: Choose Your Answer Well, Part I of III

This is the first of a new commitment I desire to share. I know we will learn from each other as we create new goals, new realities and new horizons. This is my wish.

Two or three times a month I will share mindful management. I am honored to have this opportunity, and from time to time I will open the kimono onto my heart. Now let’s move forward together.

Mindful management is a term I share when I’m coaching and assisting others in setting goals. I learned this term well.

Within my world, when a moment approaches and one knows that the answer, comment, question – words or lack thereof – will truly change the world as one knows it, this I have defined as mindful management.

In 1993 I had such a moment creating a new service to my community. Though San Antonio is the eighth largest city in the U.S., I was challenged trying to find how to share my services.

I had a different mission; I needed to do this. I knew people needed my service. I had prayed and received a sign.

If one believes in miracles, then that is what occurred.

If one does not believe in miracles, then it was a ‘Star Trek’ moment.

As I worked and juggled my priorities and responsibilities, I researched the chamber of commerce (we have many) and decided to join the Hispanic Chamber. I had my personal and professional reasons for this choice. I phoned; they could not have been nicer answering my questions.

The chamber hosts a mixer (their term) where professionals gather to meet, socialize and to conduct business. I ensured I was not teaching or providing captioning/CART for deaf and or hard-of-hearing consumers. Then I prepped for this opportunity.

The mixer was in a brewery. Truly. When I pulled into the parking lot, it took quite a while to find a parking spot. I was so nervous that I drove the block a few times debating if I really wanted to do this.

When I parked, as I gathered myself to begin this endeavor, I grabbed a hat I keep in my car. The hat that night was deep blue.

I paid my entry fee and stuck the paper to my shirt with my name (as required). The room had approximately 700 people who were already mixing.

Did I mention this was a brewery?

When I entered the large room, members were talking and laughing. I appeared to be the only individual standing alone, perhaps the only one who was not Hispanic standing near the doorway.

I was the only person wearing a blue bolero. I took a deep breath and walked into the loud, crowded room.

People watched – clearly watched me. I stood tall and worked to avoid looking nervous. Butterflies (and gentle fireflies) were in my stomach; I viewed doors for a possible exit.

But I had committed to this, so I worked to last a few minutes … walking alone, stopping and waiting. A few ‘mixers’ smiled, some nodded, but no one spoke to me.

I just knew there had to be a hospitality committee. I just knew (and hoped) someone would walk over and say hello. If not, I could still see the doors to the parking lot. I worked to avoid staring (longingly) at the exit doors.

Just as I seriously considered backing out of the room (to avoid anyone noticing my exit) a gentleman approached. He looked at me, then my hat.

He tilted his head, raised one eyebrow, and slowly said, “And … what can I do for you?”

I heard the tone in his voice and froze.

I had prepped thoroughly, but did not have an answer for ‘this’ question. I then worked to avoid looking nervous.

Finally I looked to him, chin up, and slowly said, “Introduce me to the most powerful people in this room.”

He paused and said, “Okay. Come with me.”

He took my left elbow, introducing himself as we walked.

Several groups stepped aside, nodding to this gentleman as we strolled into the middle of this large room.

He leaned over and whispered, “I hope you brought your business card.” I nodded.

He asked what I wanted from the evening; I had that answer prepared in short sentences.

The gentleman escorted me to three groups. After assertive introductions, names, companies, facts and a firm handshake from each person (business cards also exchanged) he said, “You’ve met the powerful people. You can go now. Really. Or you can get a drink, stay and relax.”

I paused, simply nodding. (I was still working to appear calm.)

He smiled and joked, “Well, now you can have some fun, Monette. By the way, want to meet all the bankers? Come to a breakfast tomorrow morning. I’ll introduce you. Now tell me what it is you really want.”

Monette’s Mindful Management, “Choose Carefully: Choose Your Question Well” Part II will be shared in two weeks. Contributing Editor, Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CRI, CPE, may be reached at and for private customized coaching and tutoring.

Blog: Monette’s Musings,

Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist Educational/Career Advancement

Please contact to request permission to repost or to add a link to this article, which was first posted on, September 16, 2009.

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE 
Realtime Court
Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Coach, Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the
Court Reporting
& Captioning Industry

About the Author:

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, is a JCR Contributing Editor for the National Court Reporters Association, NCRA.

She is the author of multiple books and Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry to include the national and state RPR, RMR, RDR, CSR ‘Written Knowledge Exam’ Textbook, Workbook, Companion Study Guide, ‘The CRRT WKT’ CD Software Program, Advanced SAT, LSAT, GRE, Real-Time Vocabulary Workbook and ‘CATapult’ Your Dictionary CD Software Program series.

Books, CDs, private tutoring, mentoring services and articles may be referenced

Monette is an experienced consultant, instructor, real-time court reporter, tutor, life coach, CART provider, columnist.

She teaches, tutors and coaches home-study students, college students, court reporters and professionals. Monette speaks to groups at state, national and international conventions about motivation, technology, expanding skills and Deaf, Oral Deaf, Hard of Hearing.

Monette Benoit, B.B.A., Certified Court Reporter, Certified Reporting Instructor, Certified Program Evaluator, Paralegal, may be reached at: and All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.:

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