The Coaching Network
The Coaching Network was founded in December 2009 in North Wales, and since then it as gone from strength to strength. Boasting a national and international community of professionals, the Coaching Network works to support members, and share resources.
The founder and leader of the Coaching Network is Dr. Dee Gray. While membership is multinational, work is undertaken in Wales across two main hubs, one in North Wales and one in South Wales. The leadership of the South Wales hub was taken on in 2013 by expert strategist Mary Hughes. There are three sub groups (special interest groups) that have grown out of the Coaching Network these are; 1) International Coaching World led by Marina Kogan, 2) the Evidence, Audit and Research group, and 3) the Health Wellbeing and Performance group. Groups 2&3 are managed by the Coaching Network. Media and Communications are led by Stefano Ghazali.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Well we are a learning and working community for professionals who wish to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. We ask members to contribute to the learning programme through our workshop/seminar series and in return the members who do this are able to share knowledge in a supportive constructive environment. The range of workshops that is offered is very broad, they are not all coaching focused which means that there is something for everyone. We work in collaboration with organisations too, the reciprocal exchange here involves the organisation identifying a learning opportunity for their staff within the resources the Coaching Network can offer and in return they provide premises for the Coaching Network.
SO HOW DO WE OPERATE?
The Coaching Network runs similar to ‘Time Banking’, we call our arrangements reciprocal exchange or ‘reciprocity’. This means that members contribute to the development of the Coaching Network without charging a fee, as contributing members they are then able to access the resources of the Coaching Network for free. Unlike most traditional time banks, the Coaching Network does not have a ‘bank’, all work is undertaken on trust.
As a working community we work collaboratively on projects, we share ideas and resources on the understanding that ‘what goes around comes around’.
The Coaching Network hosts a range reciprocal events each year, these have included World Cafés that focused on coaching collaboration with local communities in North Wales, and world peace with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs in Cardiff. We have held a major conference with plenary speakers Edgar Cahn (founder of Time Banking) and Dr. Neil Wooding that focused on coaching and co-production in communities; we have been invited to speak at a TEDx event and to present the Coaching Network as a case study for the Training Journal Winter Conference.
Because we work reciprocally we look for resources that area already available and will cost us nothing additional to use. This means that social media is very important to us, as not only is it largely free it is a method of communicating with all our members very quickly. The social media we use is linkedin, this is where you join the Coaching Network, have conversations, and advertise any reciprocal arrangements you would like to offer. We also have a Facebook page and have a twitter account. All of our social media sites are connected so you can communicate quickly with everyone.The Coaching Network is supportive of community engagement and regeneration, the Coaching Network is interested in supporting others to become social enterprises and working with social enterprise groups.
Besides hosting a range of inspirational workshops and bringing coaching into the hear of local communities we continue to work collaboratively and reciprocally with public and third sector organisations; we are currently developing work with the Royal Society of Arts Coaching Network.