Mike Barkham

I’ve been part of our global TCF community for about 12 years now, ever since I first discovered there was a local STCC in St Albans by traveling over to NL for a European Summer Training in 2008. Many of you will know me from subsequent European trainings and, for those who don’t, here are a few words about me.

I get more out of Tai Chi every year. The practice is important to my sense of well-being, and teaching is a source of great joy to me – I love the constant new discoveries that come from deeply paying attention to my Tai Chi in the particular way I have to in order to teach. I am grateful to TCF for providing the structures (the ‘team teaching’ ethos, the curriculum, the apprenticeships at Winter and Summer Trainings) that have allowed me to teach so early. Because it is teaching, alongside experienced teachers, that has really allowed me to learn. In the last few years, my learning/understanding/rate of internal change seems to have accelerated. I no longer feel a ‘fraud’ when I teach – I feel I genuinely have something in me to transmit. I therefore also feel ready to give something back to TCF.

I’m happy to support TCF in whatever way I can. However, my particular interest is the nature of the connection between TCF and all of us as individual members of the TCF community – I’d like to clarify the ‘deal’ we all make, ie what we get from TCF and what we give in return.

I was a consultant at PwC for over 25 years. I trained as an accountant, but I spent most of my career advising clients on business change, IT projects, risk management, and people issues. I also got my own chance to run some chunks of PwC’s business. I currently work as a ‘leadership coach’ – think of something like a sports coach, but for senior executives leading chunks of business. I started about the same time I started Tai Chi.I’ve studied psychology and (more recently) neurobiology both formally (via some great teachers) and through unstructured reading – and applied them to support both careers. Mostly I think of Tai Chi as a help to my work. For example, it helps me connect, and to use that connection (rather than my own thinking) to help people work things out for themselves.  However, as a Board member, this other experience might be helpful to TCF.