The beginning of a new year is traditionally the time when many of us start making plans that we hope will set us on a positive and fulfilling course for the 12 months ahead.
While it is all too easy to hibernate in the winter, it is actually a great time for reflection and forward planning.
For coach Wendy Spray, 2017 already looks like it will be a very busy year. Having been made redundant in June last year from her role leading the community development team for Green Square Housing in Oxford, Wendy started her own coaching business.
With more than 13 years of experience as a coach, Wendy has now made it her mission to help people reach their full potential.
She said: “I worked for Green Square for 15 years, and during that time I had leadership training and found that I really enjoyed the coaching element. That led to me taking a couple of training courses to improve my skills and then I could use those skills within my job and outside.
“When I was made redundant, starting my own coaching business seemed like the next logical step.”
Wendy had support from Oxfordshire marketing company www.itiger.co.uk, to get her website up and running and to work out what her unique selling point was going to be.
Wendy said: “Marie from itiger was brilliant and got me up and running with a website and marketing plan in no time.”
She decided that her client group would include academics and coaching employees and board members in the voluntary and statutory sectors but Wendy is keen to work with anyone who is at a crossroads and needs a plan.
She added: “I love coaching because it is a simple way to give people a safe space where I can ask questions and help people without them feeling they are being judged. People often have the answers but need the time and space to think things through.
“Coaching can have such a big impact on people to enable them to get closer to their goals.”
Wendy is very clear that she is not a counsellor, however if she feels her clients have issues that need further help, she will suggest counselling or therapy to them.
“People used to talk to their families or friends but often there is too much baggage attached to doing that. Coaching offers people the opportunity to explore new ideas and make a plan to achieve their goals.”
So far Wendy has helped clients who need to make changes to their working lives, coached people who have been out of work and need help with interview techniques and their CVS and supported line managers who have just taken on new responsibilities.
She added: “I have also supported people who are planning their retirement, need help with their performance at work and those who are facing redundancy. Work life balance and time management are also areas that I find many people need help with.
“Throughout my career, I have had a coaching style of management as I strongly believe this is the most effective way to get the best outcomes for both the individuals and the organisation.”