Meet Gill Crossland Thackray, Koru Director, Author & Performance Psychologist
Hi, I’m Gill Thackray. My journey into the world of sustainable performance, change processes & wellbeing began whilst working in United Nations refugee camps.
Despite the traumatic events that had forced the people I worked with to leave their homes and sometimes their loved ones behind, their resilience was evidenced everywhere. What I was observing was the epitome of resilience, post traumatic growth. A counterintuitive response to trauma where human beings thrive. What I learned from the people I worked with in the refugee camp about resilience in the face of trauma inspired me.
I returned to the UK, accepting a role as Head of Workforce Development for a company in London (along with a crowded, daily four hour commute). At my interview someone was carried out on a stretcher by paramedics and nobody batted an eyelid…
It wasn’t long before I recognised that the long established systems, procedures and acceptable pace of working weren’t sustainable. They pushed employees into burnout and kept people disconnected from themselves, their emotional wellbeing and their inherent potential. Even worse, the level of stress related illness amongst my colleagues was off the charts. Work was literally making people sick. And then, I was made redundant. I had one month’s salary to my name, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I knew that there had to be a better way. I felt strongly about creating a more connected world, one where we don’t leave our true selves behind when we go to work. Where we look at what doesn’t work and fix it. I put everything that I had into pursuing a new path. I took the lessons that I had learned about post traumatic growth and I retrained as a business psychologist. I felt an obligation to share what I had learned and started Koru Development so that I could help people live more authentic lives where they fulfil their potential without burning out or feeling miserable and disconnected.
Since then I’ve been working as a performance psychologist with Fortune 100 Companies, elite sporting bodies like UK Sport, the Football Association and the medical profession, non profits, small businesses & youth leadership organizations across the globe using evidence based strategies to create sustainable high performance individuals, teams and organisations. Change is a constant, it’s how we move through it that makes the difference.
I work internationally with individuals and businesses using data driven performance psychology strategies, teaching people to optimise their professional lives and their personal lives.
At Koru, we believe that resilience training can be a catalyst for good in the world. We recognise that we’re always facing change, whether that’s climatic change, systemic change or personal change, even when we don’t necessarily choose that change. It’s in these moments that we often experience our most valuable & profound life lessons. We need those lessons to grow, perhaps, now more than ever. For this to happen, resilience is essential.
What People Say About Us
“Having just completed eight weeks with my team working with Gill at Koru I have already noticed a marked improvement in the resilience and composure of both myself and my team. The combination of easily accessible techniques, supported by proven science/research helped the team accept and engage with the programme. It won’t be for everyone, but for those that do give it a go it has the potential to be one of the most impactful/significant pieces of personal development they will do in their careers.”
David Cole, COO, UK Sport
“Koru is a great way of understanding yourself and managing your life. It helps you work out a healthier balance between action and thought and creates both physical and mental harmony. Simple techniques that can be learnt even if you are an experienced manager already. I would recommend the professionalism and wisdom of their approach and people”
Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive, WEA
“Gill’s session with our team was extremely helpful. We had just had our busiest year ever. She gently but firmly got us to reflect on our stressors and how we could deal with them. The day has provided us with a number of strategies for dealing with heavy workload and for ensuring that our activities are focussed on maximising value. Her approach was non-threatening and gave us all a fun space in which to reflect and grow.”
Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru
“We’ve worked with Koru on several occasions, primarily for one-to-one coaching for staff, but also for a team building workshop. Gill is efficient and responsive and interacts sensitively and professionally with our staff. Her international background is a real asset in working with us as an INGO. We have had good feedback from the staff Gill has worked with, and I would absolutely recommend her as a coach and facilitator.”
Ellie Cannell, Head of Human Resources, IPPF
“Gill delivered training on ‘Leading and Managing Change’. She took time to understand our organisation and the needs of all participants. The course was delivered in a professional manner, Gill shared her subject knowledge in an informative and interactive way and related it to our needs throughout. All participants found the training highly beneficial and we would certainly utilise Gill in the future.”
L Ritchie, Human Resources, Combat Stress
We know that change is a constant. Sometimes we choose change, sometimes we don’t. We believe in conscious change that incorporates our values, committing to lifelong learning and embracing the journey.