Monique Pretorius is a South African national, with a proven track record in customer service, sales, and management. Her Gulf experience began in 2000, when she moved to the UAE to work for the Rotana Hotel Group, Abu Dhabi.
Monique’s working career began in 1990, when she joined the South African Police Service, working her way up to a middle management position. She served for seven years in the police, before deciding to change careers in 1997. She believes her police experience taught her a great deal about conflict management, being non-discriminatory in providing top-level service, and being a top-class communicator. She believes that her work as a police officer was “the best ever Customer Service experience you could have!”.
In 1997, she decided to pursue a career in hotel management. This involved studying Hotel Operations and Management at the Institute for Hospitality Training, Cape Town, and joining a leading Cape Town Hotel on a management development programme. Following two years in this post she moved to the UAE, to take up a position in Abu Dhabi with the Guest Relations team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Rotana Hotel. She was subsequently promoted to a more senior position at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai.
Due to her husband’s work requirements, she returned to South Africa in 2003, where she managed the front desk teams of three Spas located in Cape Town, at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the Radisson, and the Commodore Hotel.
Monique’s growing interest in training and leadership, and her passion for people development, encouraged her to join The Institute for Hospitality Training in Cape Town, in May 2007. This position involved working as a facilitator, conducting Customer Service training workshops including Leadership, Effective Communication, Dealing with Complaints, and Conflict Management. In this role, Monique was part of the training team that conducted Customer Service Training for all the First National Bank branches in South Africa. The Institute also trained various government departments in Time Management, Telephone Etiquette, Event Management, and Motivation In The Workplace.
Monique believes that people are an organization’s biggest asset. Her ‘hands on’ experience as a police officer taught her that good leadership skills, passion, dedication, patience, empathy, good communication skills, and decisiveness, are what separates the ‘good leader’ from the ‘mediocre’. She uses her own leadership and motivational skills in her training, believing that all training needs a solid foundation, before new skills can be learned and internalised.
Her additional experience of working and training in retail and service outlets, where top customer service is a priority (banks, hotels, shops, health spas, etc.) has given her an excellent perspective, and many real-life case studies to refer to, in the training room.
It is her belief that customer service is the main differentiator between organizations today, and that this will only increase as we progress through the 21st century. That is why she feels it is important for companies to examine their leadership principles, their customer service quality standards, and the attitudes of their front-line staff.
Monique’s warm personality, enthusiasm, and ‘hands on’ practical approach puts people at ease in the training room, and stimulates and motivates them to want to learn. She is committed to achieving results that not only meet, but exceed, the training needs and expectations of her delegates and clients.
Due to her husband’s relocation back to the UAE, Monique returned to Dubai in 2008.
She is an accredited facilitator through the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) in South Africa. She has recently completed three different programmes as part of her enrolment for the National Diploma: Occupationally Directed Education, Training and Development Practices (ODETDP) in South Africa – Skills Development Specialist, Training Material Design & Development and Assessor Training. The Diploma equips Practitioners with the advanced theoretical and practical skills to fulfil their roles as ETD (Educational Training and Development) Practitioners.
Monique has completed Life Coach training with Ledisa Academy, South Africa, which is closely aligned with the professional competencies promoted by COMENSA (The Coaches and Mentors of South Africa). She is also currently pursuing NLP coach training, to complement her competencies in life coaching and workplace coaching.
In 2009, Monique joined Spearhead Training as a Senior Management Associate. In search of continuing professional development, in February 2011 she attended the Training Magazine’s Annual Training Conference and Expo in San Diego, U.S.A. While there, she participated in the Bob Pike Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp, earning herself a certificate in Instructor-Led, Participant-Centered Training. The focus was on high-impact training courses that enhance participant involvement, learning retention, and better on-the-job application of skills learnt. She also had the opportunity to attend seminars from experts in the industry, enhancing her skills in employee engagement, creativity in the workplace, training needs analysis and managing the training function, to ensure excellent return on investment.