You have a coach for your weekend sport, and you may even have a financial coach to help you decide where to invest. But would you ever consider enlisting a coach to teach you what it means to be a bloke?
Mike Campbell is a Sydney-based 'Man Coach' who has recently launched an inspirational video web series called Beyond the Beers: Conversations with Men that Break the Stereotype. There are currently four episodes released for you to check out at Beyond The Beers TV.
Campbell says that his series is a 'place for men who inspire, educate and challenge. Men with purpose, courage, compassion and strength to disrupt the broken stereotype and provide examples for other men to chat, listen, learn, laugh and grow'.
This Saturday, Campbell will be running an event based on the web series, touted as 'conversations and cool s--t for men'.
He promises there'll be no primal drumming, no chest beating, just lots of great banter, beer and connections.
So many men are ... afraid to open up.Mike Campbell
"The event is about providing accessible information about life, manhood and masculinity; without the fluff and macho BS extremes," Campbell says. "It's for men who want more out of life, but aren't quite sure how to make it happen."
Campbell believes there's never been a greater need for men to have a conversation that goes 'beyond the beers'.
"Depression, anxiety and suicide rates are frighteningly high in the male population," he says. "Every day in Australia seven people kill themselves, five of whom are men. It's become clear that so many men are suffering in silence; too afraid to open up to other guys and have a decent chat beyond the surface banter and meaningless small talk."
"I wholeheartedly believe that this inability and unavailability to have more meaningful conversations with other men is a big contributor to the trends we are seeing in mental illness (and general health) with men, and an indicator of where we're at. Much of which is predicated on the confusing message of what it means to be a man."
Models of masculinity
His goal for the event is to ensure every bloke leaves with a reframed understanding of what it is to be a true balanced masculine man. "He'll understand his personal measures of success and be able to use them to guide his life. He'll leave understanding that true masculine power lies in vulnerability. And most importantly, he'll leave with an action plan for integrating this into his day to day life."
Campbell believes the current models of masculinity are not serving us well, with men torn between the hyper-masculine role model who can never show weakness, and the useless slob often portrayed in advertising. "I aim to create a model that is a lot more well balanced."
What goes on
The morning will kick off at 8.30am with The Coffee Conversation; an initial place for men to connect and chat.
Following the opening session, the participants will divide and move through several stations offering craft beer, whisky and gin tastings, property investment, VR and Tech, mindfulness and meditation, giving attendees the opportunity to start progressing their own conversations while they check out what's on offer.
Following a stand-up lunch, the rest of the day will comprise of a series of workshop style talks, case studies, a Q&A session, and conclude with beers and conversation.
"In my view, the day is about providing that simple first step for men to start getting into the tougher and more meaningful conversations that go beyond that stuff we usually speak about over a beer, that being women, sport, and movies," says Campbell. "Men tend to be very reactive and I'm trying to facilitate them to become more proactive; not to wait until it's too late."
Tickets are available online from $90. The event will be held at Sydney's Radisson Hotel.