2015 is shaping up to be a busy and challenging year for AVC. With the new year has come a move of home for me as well as exciting new projects involving accessibility and assistive technology. However one of the most exciting things to come out of the Executive Coaching side of the business is that I’ve become the first male coach in The Bird Table groups network.
You may be reading this and thinking “What on earth is The Bird Table?“
The Bird Table (TBT) is a network of professional coaches who run business development groups specifically for women. TBT was created by Aly King-Smith, a fantastically talented coach and successful business woman in her own right. There are now several groups around the UK and more are being created as the word spreads. But TBT isn’t just a network of coaches, it’s a network of delegates who want to develop their approach and thinking about their own businesses. The groups are safe and confidential environments in which delegates can learn a lot and share a lot. Not only that, but TBT has a particular flavour and feel about it. Whilst having a very balanced high support high challenge model that enables delegates to step outside their comfort zone, it also facilitates a great amount of peer and professional coaching support.
So what is The Bird Table programme format?
Each group consists of 6-8 delegates and a Bird Table professional coach. The delegates sign up to and commit to attending three meetings that are held one month apart. Of course once the first “term” of meetings is over the delegates can decide to return for further terms or may go off into the sunset with their new thinking and make great successes of their respective businesses.
TBT is not a “selling” environment. In fact any sort of selling of products or services is discouraged, the groups are simply about business development and those individuals who sign up to become part of The Bird Table community. That isn’t to say that connections aren’t made between the delegates and their peers or delegates and coaches; of course they are, but those relationships evolve outside of the group meetings.
So how do I feel about being the first male coach in the network?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive at first, it is quite daunting being literally the only chap involved but at the same time it’s certainly no great hardship being surrounded by intelligent, business focused, ethical women. For me though it’s not really about gender, I like to hope that Aly chose me because of my coaching skills and the extra insight I can bring to the table. I’m very lucky to have been so readily accepted as part of the network, it’s a great reassurance. I am very much looking forward to contributing to the growth of TBT and hopefully setting an example to other male coaches who might wish to get involved in the future.
Roll on the rest of 2015!