NASHVILLE --- Speaker and higher education veteran Monique AJ Smith visited the campus of Tennessee State University to hold a workshop with the athletics department during the staff retreat on Wednesday.
The all-day event was held in the meeting room of the Indoor Practice Facility for every member of the athletics staff.
Smith touched on a number of topics meant to promote understanding on what drives you, effective communication and personality styles. The interactive workshop gave coaches and administrators an opportunity to learn while engaging in activities that encouraged growth.
“For me it’s important for people to grow,” said Smith. “Personal development is key. The first step of leadership is about self-awareness and so that’s what I try to make sure I do with everybody first.”
During the session, Smith highlighted the importance of knowing your mission and vision as well as the significance of making sure you are in alignment with the principles of the university.
Smith, a 23-year veteran in higher education, began conducting workshops for youth, women, educational and corporate organizations as well as senior citizen groups in 2005. For more than 15 years she has provided consultation on NCAA compliance and rules education and served on several NCAA Committees. Smith has dedicated her life to marketing the success of others, developing opportunities for the underrepresented and influencing decision makers to embrace diversity and inclusion.
What Others Are Saying
“I think Monique did a great job. I think it was an unexpected day for our department because I don’t think individuals knew this is what we were going to do. They probably thought were going to talk about the processes of filling out a purchase requisition and rules and regulations and things like that. I wanted to do something a little different to provoke thought and promote togetherness to say, ‘we should be about similar mission.’ We have to learn to work with each other and try to understand each other. I think she did a really great job of bringing those things to our mind during this seminar.”
- Teresa Phillips, Director of Athletics
“I think the retreat was great. Not just for coaches but for business as well as anyone dealing with athletics. As a human being, it really helped with how to deal with life. My favorite part of the seminar was the DISC personality power point. It showed the different ways people in the department communicate and how we can better interact with one another.”
- Pierre Jordan, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
“I think it was great. Definitely what we needed. Every now and then, we need to hear a different voice and a different perspective. It was great information that we can use to be refreshed and retooled, especially at this time of the year, as we get prepared for the next year.”
- Valencia Jordan, SWA/Assistant AD
“I really enjoyed the interaction we had with all the coaches. I look forward to this every year. It’s nice to get a day that we can spend together as peers and get to know each other.”
- Parrish McGrath, Head Golf Coach
“I thought today was really great. It was very inspiring for every program as well as our department. I think it’s going to allow us to work together as a staff and as a department.”
- Donika Sutton, Head Volleyball Coach
“I think it was extremely important for the athletics department to have a retreat that allows us to be able to learn each other a little more; especially with us being in athletics. It gives us an opportunity to learn how to work together as a unit and learn the strength and weaknesses of others. I think the exciting part for all of us was getting in tune with who we are and our personalities so that we can better work with our peers to reach our goals.”
- Jeremy Perry, Athletic Academic Advisor
“I think Ms. Monique did a great job and the assessments are true. I think it was very informative and gave us great knowledge and information about the different personalities and how to communicate best with each one.”
- Natasha Plant, Senior Office Assistant (Football)