Career development for women

During 2015 to 2017,  Wellington Free Ambulance has been working on a diversity project to encourage highly capable women paramedics to take up leadership roles in the operations area.  At the beginning of 2015, 56% of paramedics at WFA were women but unfortunately at that time, no women in first line operational management roles.

In February 2016,  Cynthia provided a career planning session for 15 women paramedics as part of a “Women in Leadership” forum at WFA. The impact was huge and immediate.  As a result of the work Cynthia carried out with these women, many of them applied for leadership roles, research scholarships and other clinical leadership roles. Within 6 months, 25% of the operation first line managers were now women.

The next Women in Leadership forum will be held in early 2017 and because of the success of the first forum and Cynthia’s career workshop, we have had to start an attendance wait list to cope with the number of women paramedics wishing to take part.”  Brenda Christie

Financial coaching

“Thanks Craig for your practical and impartial financial advice. I came away with clarity about my choices and an action plan. I particularly valued your independence when discussing investment choices.”  Mark E (CFO)

Career coaching

“In early 2015, my manager and I identified the value of undertaking coaching from someone external to the organisation. I was looking to improve my effectiveness as a leader and, based on recommendations, Cynthia looked like a good fit. This proved to be spot on as Cynthia is a great exponent of coaching skills and backs it up by a wealth of knowledge around leadership and change management which were very pertinent to my day to day challenges.

Cynthia has a very relaxed style which encourages a very open conversation. She used her insights from those conversations to steer me to solving challenges myself while at times stepping out of coaching mode to enlighten me on new techniques.

I found that these sessions delivered everything I was looking for and fully met the goal of building my leadership toolkit.”  Peter A, Inland Revenue

Financial coaching

“You are very kind Craig.  Again, many, many thanks. I found your advice very sensible (and easily understood.) .  Afterwards I kicked myself that I had not come to that decision.  Obvious, once I think about it.”  GP (Wairarapa)

Financial coaching – Retirement

“I was really pleased with the easy to understand, no nonsense strategy Craig recommended for our retirement savings. He was great to work with and the options he presented at the end of the process were easy to follow. I feel much more in control of our retirement planning now thanks to Craig. ”  FM (Wellington)

Career coaching

“I have been fortunate to have Cynthia as a coach and have very much appreciated her reflective listening style and wisdom.  We have contemplated career development, leadership and management issues: Cynthia has provided valuable insights, tips, tools and techniques.  I would definitely recommend Cynthia as a highly experienced professional career coach.”  Lynley, New Zealand Transport Agency

Financial coaching

“Craig, you have provided a great service – thanks! I have appreciated your  kindness and the impartial advice you provided, which was easy to follow and gave me a sense of direction.  And I appreciated you coming across with me to meet the financial advisers you referred me to – that made me feel much more comfortable.”  RG (Wellington)

Career coaching

“Cynthia was recommended to me as someone who could help me through a major career transition; having worked with her for a few months now, I have found her help and advice to be incredibly valuable. After 11 years in the military and looking to change from that, I was seeking clarity on where I wanted to go next and the tools and knowledge on how I was going to get there.

Cynthia has stood out in that she really tailored the support she provided for me. She was very flexible and I found the work we did together naturally evolved as it needed to. We worked through exercises which helped me gain more clarity on the direction I want to pursue, she has provided a lot of advice throughout the process of producing a CV (figuring how to translate my military skills to the civilian environment) and as I begin the next step, her guidance and referrals have really been above and beyond.

Throughout this time I have found Cynthia to be knowledgeable, professional and encouraging. It was the right balance between big picture thinking and the practical detail. Overall, Cynthia has helped make my transition a positive experience, I am really happy with the outputs and I feel confident going forward.”  Tina Frew (private client)

Retirement planning

“I was fortunate to attend a one-day workshop facilitated by Cynthia and Craig on “planning for retirement.” This was very professionally presented and it quickly made me realise that I had work to do if I was to enjoy my imminent retirement. I was most fortunate to subsequently have several one-on-one sessions with Cynthia who was very aware of the important elements necessary in planning for a successful and happy retirement.

I found Cynthia to be stimulating and she would challenge you in a way that ensured you found the ideal solution. She also ensured I included my partner in this process.

I would happily recommend Cynthia on HR Matters, as she is a very positive person and very customer focused. She has lots of ideas, is able to challenge you and still encourage you as you work through to the ideal solution. I have valued the time and professional advice provided by Cynthia.”  Mike Moore, former General Manager,  Statistics New Zealand (Christchurch)

Career coaching

“Cynthia was recommended to me as an excellent coach by colleagues. I had two sessions with Cynthia to help me think through career goals and options. I felt ‘stuck’ and it was important to me to find a way forward that fit with my values, and aspirations for family life. Within the first 20 minutes Cynthia managed to discern and describe the nub of the problem. From there she helped me identify in concrete terms, my goals, and the type of role that would satisfy my temperament and work preferences, as well as leverage my experience, knowledge and skillset. Cynthia worked with me to refresh my CV and identified some people with whom I could talk further about development in my preferred field. Cynthia was 100% present, actively listened and drew great whiteboard maps to help me see through the muddle. I felt really supported. The sessions helped me understand that I had choices and control over my future, and fostered optimism. I’d totally recommend her as a coach.”  Public servant (MSD)

Leadership coaching

“Over the past 3 years Cynthia has coached me and my team in a number of areas some being leadership, team culture and staff retirement. Cynthia has helped me on my journey to became a better leader by coaching me in a range of different tools and techniques on how to manage performance and behaviour. Cynthia then supported me while I applied these.

Three years ago I inherited a very diverse team that had a number of performance issues. Cynthia worked with me to breakdown the root causes of the issues making the process manageable. This enabled me to focus on the appropriate steps needed to move forward.

Cynthia’s style is very open and supportive, I always came away from our sessions feeling as though we had achieved what we set out to. Cynthia also worked with my team. The feedback from them is that they find Cynthia very friendly and non-confronting and as such it is always easy to get their engagement in our workshops.

Cynthia more recently assisted me in how to manage employees moving into retirement. This was an area I had no previous experience in and I was unsure of how to approach it and related issues. Cynthia worked with the employee though retirement planning coaching to help him understand what retirement means for him now, what it means in the future and also what it means for his family. The experience has been very positive for the employee and now the business has been able to put in place a work schedule to assist the employee transitioning into retirement.”  Jaci Barnes, Manager, Gas Customer Team

Financial coaching

“I’m not very interested in investment strategy, but I know it is important for retirement savings. I’d not had to think much about it till I left a company where I’d worked for 23 years.  I got paid out my staff superannuation as a lump sum and had some redundancy pay to invest on top of that.  That’s where Craig Wylie of C Squared Consulting Limited came in.

Craig started by getting a good understanding of my overall situation.  His fees are based on time and he gave me up front the maximum costs for his services depending on my choice of options for how much he would be involved.  We worked out a clear outline of how to proceed with the financial planning.

Then I completed Craig’s Financial Profile Questionnaire.  Putting in the effort to do so as accurately as I could was well worth my effort.  It provided the sound basis from which Craig produced my Retirement Plan.*

Some things I particularly liked about the financial plan were the following:

In my case, as I’m not much interested in investment strategy, I’d rather pay a fee to an investment management service to handle the details.  I asked Craig to recommend one.  He did so, but again they gave him no commission, so I felt Craig was in a great position to make an unbiased recommendation.  Instead, the investment advisers/managers waived their start-up fees, as the Retirement Plan that Craig had provided for me saved them the bulk of the work that they would otherwise have needed to do to draw up my investment strategy.

The net result was that that I paid less in fees to Craig than the investment management service’s waived start-up fees would have been.  So by using Craig’s services, I got a good deal as well as a retirement plan in which I feel confident.  Craig made it clear that his advice is based on managing uncertainty in these economically uncertain times.  His experience and track record give him an excellent basis for providing sound financial advice.  I’d highly recommend his services to anyone in a similar position to me.”  Simon O (referred client)(*Craig now offers clients assistance with their financial plans, and no longer prepares comprehensive financial plans. Referrals can be made to an appropriately qualified and trusted financial adviser if required.)

Career coaching

“Thanks Cynthia for your insights and practical advice.  You frequently tested assumptions I had made about myself and what I really wanted.  It’s not often we hold a mirror up to ourselves and identify our strengths and work-ons, but you gave me the confidence to do exactly that.  You provided a professional service that I have enjoyed recommending to others.”  Employee NZTA

Career coaching

“A short note to advise that I have been successful in obtaining a position and to say thanks for your advice. Very valuable and I appreciate your preparedness to adapt your service to my specific needs and resources. Your positive feedback also gave me a boost and positive mind set at a time when sorely needed.”   John Greer, MAF

Career coaching

“Cynthia’s approach to my careers counselling worked very well for me. She asked the right questions and helped me identify what I want from a career change. I found our discussions about the nature of work very illuminating during a time of transition. She not only gave me practical advice but also actively encouraged me to pursue opportunities that would meet all the career needs–financial and otherwise–we identified together.”   Chiara La Rotondo (private client)

Financial coaching

“Craig provided a structured approach to deciding what I needed to do with my largest financial asset, ensuring I protected my family in the short term and into the future.”  Murray (Deputy CIO)

Career coaching

“Cynthia’s professional and personal approach helped me recognise my skills and strengths and that my attributes were transferable across industries.  Cynthia brought out these key skills and achievements when she wrote my CV, something I could not have achieved on my own.  She gave me the confidence to change industries and I am extremely grateful for her support.

I highly recommend Cynthia to anyone who is at a cross roads in their career or someone who wants to update their CV just in case the perfect job comes along.  When applying for a position you want to have the confidence that your CV accurately represents you and it is one that the employer wants to read and then interview you.”  Amanda D (Christchurch)

Career coaching

“Thanks so much for working with Amy, I cannot believe the transformation. She came home confused and rather frightened about her future. She applied for and starts on Monday with Flight Centre as a sales and marketing cadet. She has a flat to move into and although she misses the big city life, has settled back into the family and Wellington so much better than we had hoped. I am so pleased for her. Thank you for helping her.”   Trish Brown, Wellington (mother)

Career coaching

“I undertook a series of career coaching sessions with Cynthia to help my focus and clarify my future career goals. As a research scientist, I have been contemplating whether to stay in my current job or to shift into a role that is more applied, such as environmental consulting or policy work. The sessions that I had with Cynthia were invaluable in terms of helping me define my personal values, and thinking about ways that my career can be adapted to work in with my family and lifestyle. I came away with a much clearer vision of my key strengths in my current job, and how I can use those skills in my next position.”  Kate Sinclair, Scientist, GNS Science

Project Management

“In working with Cynthia,  two things stand out for me – her focus on the individual client and solutions that work for them, rather than a ‘template solution’, and her strong sense of ethics about making sure the work she does has value for the customer.”  Marti Eller, General Manager, Operations, Ministry of Social Development

HR consulting

“I first met Cynthia when she came to our organisation to set up a performance development framework. Her pleasant friendly manner and clear expertise in HR matters gave me instant confidence in her.

As I have worked with Cynthia I have found her responsive, helpful, reliable and also great fun. Cynthia knows how to work with people including those who might be seen as ‘more challenging’. She is an excellent facilitator and can ‘think on her feet”.  Faith Roberts, Service Delivery Co-ordinator, Mental Health Commission

Career coaching

“I highly recommend Cynthia to anyone looking for professional or managerial coaching. She goes out of her way to provide relevant and useful information and tools and has always provided the guidance I need while leaving me in control. When I was made redundant and needed to find a new job, Cynthia helped me give my CV significantly more impact, enabled me to identify and express my strengths and capabilities, and showed me how to use networking to tap into possible job opportunities. This resulted in me quickly securing the job I wanted. I always look forward to working with Cynthia.”  Adrianna Slykerman, Human Resources Advisor, Inland Revenue

Financial coaching

“Craig, thank you very much for the summary, which is more than that – a very clear, helpful, and detailed restatement of what you told us yesterday. I’ve found that it has clarified some parts that I failed to pick up on then and has strengthened some emphases. Having those messages in writing is going to be excellent for us.”  (Name withheld by request)