Spotlight Series: Meet Clear Communication Coach Monique Russell

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a Communications Expert, originally from the beautiful islands of The Bahamas and Nigeria. I'm a mother, wife and lead an international training, coaching and consulting firm, Clear Communication Solutions that teaches leaders and teams how to have positive and productive relationships at home and work using effective communications tools. My clients work with me in a number of ways: in-person and virtual workshops, group and 1:1 coaching, online courses and keynote speeches. Some successes my clients have experienced include receiving promotions, increasing their visibility and exposure online and offline, having better relationships with their partners and children, and growing their businesses.

2. What was your first job and how did you get it?

What a beautiful question! My very first job was working as an Administrative Assistant in my grandfather's construction company. I must have been about 12 years old and I will never forget it. I made 50 cents an hour and I didn't have anything to do during that summer. My grandfather offered me a job, and I took it. I got dressed in my "office dress" with my purse and set out to answer the phones, follow up with clients and track my grandfather down on the radio when someone was looking for him. I felt so grown up!

My first job out of college was as an Admissions Advisor at a University. I was responsible for the Doctorate program mainly, guiding adults on their program of study and helping them stay accountable to their goals of completion. Shortly after, I was tapped to deliver training to the entire staff on customer service as my numbers were so excitingly high. I had mastered the art of building relationships and students wanted to attend because of the relationship I had built with them during their inquiry process. I was then asked to conduct a competitive benchmark study to see how we could beat the competition. In my research, I found a gap. The other schools took too long to get back to their students and the customer service was poor. We then led an initiative that was SO successful, I was recognized. By the time other universities sent their admissions letters, we had already sent ours, processed them fully and had them registered for their classes. This is exactly the approach I take when teaching clients how to differentiate themselves.

3. How did you decide and get to your career today?

I started speaking at the age of 8 years old and when I studied the science of Communications for undergrad and graduate degrees, I just knew I would be using the degrees in some shape or form even if it wasn't directly. While I didn't work directly as a Broadcast Journalist (except for a short stint) or Public Relations or Advertising specialist, what I do today leverages everything I studied 100%. My career in the science of Communications chose me and is a part of how I am gifted. However, the path to where I am now was a windy road. It was through coaching and significant personal investment in myself that I became the Communications Strategist I am today.

4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?

I would tell my younger self to let go of perfectionism. Oh my goodness, was I a perfectionist! I didn't even know it. I thought I was just someone committed to excellence. I would say don't wait for everything to be perfect. Get into communities and expose yourself to many different environments. Challenge what you have been taught. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to.

5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

In 5 years, my kids will all be out of the house, so personally, I will be enjoying the new chapter of life with my husband. One thing my mother gave me was a love of learning, so I will continue to grow personally and impact my family in a positive way. Professionally, who knows? It is my intention to provide entrepreneurial and communication skills support in Africa and the Caribbean through entrepreneurship centers. In 5 years or sooner, I will be doing that.

Stay connected with Monique!

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