Saturday, July 14, 2018

Would You Like to Break Out of the Box?

Are you feeling the desire to move forward with new, freer choices? Are you curious about your personality's strengths and blind spots?
Like everyone else, you developed a box of habitual patterns as a child that help you cope, yet narrow your perspective and limit your options.

In My Blogs on the right you'll find suggestions to observe your personal responses without judgment, interrupt them in creative ways that invite more flexibility, and broaden your worldview.

After more than 30 years' experience, I still accept a few select clients. If you'd like to partner with me, let's explore that possibility together (click here for hours and contact information).

How I Work with Clients

  1. Our approach is positive and we observe together what you say and do, in and between sessions, without judgment. If you're not receiving what you want from the coaching relationship, you tell me and we agree on how to make our work together as powerful as possible.
  2. We are extremely flexible about our schedules. If you need to cancel, you can do so right up to the scheduled hour; on occasion I may need to do the same.
  3. We engage in direct, truthful, and open conversations and collaborate to make the coaching relationship beneficial for both of us. Our approach is best described by the acronym "A.W.E":

Awareness of your unique patterns of motivation and behavior.

If you'd been hypnotized in a nightclub act to do something silly afterward at the hypnotist's command, would you then ask, "Why am I clucking like a chicken?" No. You volunteered to let someone make strong suggestions about your behavior. As a child you were even more suggestible. Read more . . . 

Watching, without judgment, how those patterns operate.

Instead of backing away from an aspect of yourself you don't like, get to know that troubling part and see what there is to learn. Read more . . .

Experimenting with pattern breaking to invite transpersonal change.

When you allow yourself to fully experience your typical reactions, you'll discover a new meaning for the baseball phrase, sweet spot. Read more . . .

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hours, Fees, Prepayment

I schedule appointments Monday - Thursday, U.S. Eastern, starting at 11 am and ending by 4 pm. Please confirm an introductory session with me by email before making payment. (Click here to send email.)

I'm in the U.S. Eastern time zone, so please calculate our time difference, request appointments in my time, and pay the day before our scheduled call.
  1. Introductory 1-hour call = $35
  2. Individual 1-hour call = $75
  3. Individual 45-minute call = $60
  4. Six 1-hour calls = $405 (10% discount)
  5. Four 45-minute calls = $240
  6. One 90-minute call = $112.50
Use this drop-down menu for one of the above standard payments:

Standard Payment Options

With ongoing clients we sometimes agree to a different amount. Use this drop-down menu for 3 one-hour calls, 1 half-hour call, or 6 half-hour calls:

Other Agreed-upon Amounts

Mary Bast

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

About Coach Mary Bast

    After more than 30 years' experience, I still accept a few, select clients. If you'd like to partner with me, let's explore that possibility together. Click here for hours and contact information.

    Director of Executive Development (1982-1988): In 1982 I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in social psychology, with dual emphasis on organization development and personal growth. Already the Training Manager for Federated Department Stores' corporate organization, I was promoted to Director of Executive Development and co-created a benchmark program to coach high-potential executives in our retail companies across the U.S. 

    Bast Consulting, Inc. (1988-1998): In 1988 I started Bast Consulting, Inc., coaching executive clients for a decade of on-site leadership coaching and team development in a variety of industries (including community mental health, financial services, health insurance, home improvement, landscaping, manufacturing, retail, sales, software development, scientific research, toy manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and many others). Hundreds of my executive clients put failing careers back on track, attained desired positions, clarified their organization's vision/strategy, and built more effective teams.

    Out of the Box Coaching (1998-present): During the years of on-site executive coaching, it became clear that career success only scratched the surface of my clients' potential for personal development (organizational contracts typically focus more on measurable outcomes and less on personal growth). So I launched Out of the Box Coaching in 1998, most of the first year spent in research and writing about the dynamics of change, which informed my current approach. I've coached clients worldwide by phone for the past 20 years.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016


    Destiny-Shaping Experience: Working with Mary has been a destiny-shaping experience. We brainstormed behavior-altering ideas that have significantly improved my leadership execution. Evans Munyuki, Dubai

    I Felt Seen and Heard: Mary helped me define my business and supported me deeply. Her intellect, wit, experience, and breadth of knowledge made our talks a meeting of peers. She was a genius at helping me see things differently and discovering resources within myself. I became adept at self-coaching, which is a profound gift. Wm. P., U.S. 

    Refocused My Career: I am very grateful to Mary for listening, reflecting my thoughts with eerie accuracy, and keeping me focused on doing rather than analyzing. John D., U.S.

    An Ally Across the Atlantic: Mary has a wealth of experience and has been an immeasurable support to me. She created a safe, non-judgmental space in which I could explore some difficult and challenging personal issues. Both on the calls and between the sessions I felt her presence as an ally across the Atlantic. C.A., UK
    My Secret Weapon: Mary is my once-in-a-lifetime coach, adviser, reality-checker and sanity-preserver; the savviest coach I have ever met. As an executive coach with exacting standards and expectations, I would only work with someone who can wow me and take me further than I'd dare venture alone. I have seen my own coaching practice soar in the years I have been mentored by Mary. She is my secret weapon. Gilly Weistein, NYC

    Helps Me Dive in When Stuck: Mary has a way of delving straight to the core and heart of an issue. Recognizing how to break through established habits turns out to be the secret to personal transformation. Even after I learned how to 'change one thing,' when I'm stuck Mary continues to help me dive into what that one thing might be, an art that seems always to benefit from an outside observer. Paul M. U.S. 

    Achieving Life's Desires:
    I learned about Mary through her book Out of the Box: Coaching with the Enneagram. She's a coach for those who know that achieving life's desires, through self-exploration and action, requires someone there for you over weeks and months. I highly recommend Mary. G.C., Canada 
    The Nudge That Allowed Me to Jump: Mary shares her wisdom generously, without a hint of coaching jargon. Working with her feels like a warm waltz that keeps twirling you back to yourself, no matter how much you may be tempted to settle for being a wall flower. I am deeply grateful for the nudge that allowed me to jump. Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, UK

    Discovering More of My Authentic Self: Mary is a wise and warm coach. She was very helpful in creating new perspectives by reframing what I brought to the calls. I discovered more of my authentic self, thanks to our rich sessions. Mary is also a great resource person. She has a wide palette to offer. Judy van Zon, Bangalore, Munich, Warsaw (Dutch nationality)

    The Only Method That Has Made Sense: Mary brought her life experience and passion for the Enneagram to our coaching sessions over three years. In 20 years of experimenting with various modalities of wisdom to make my life journey more purposeful, this is the only method that has truly made sense to me. J.M., Australia 

    A Great Friend: Mary has added so much value to my life and work that I count her as a great friend as well as coach. Pam Boney, CEO Tilt365, U.S.

    Uniquely Qualified to Work with Senior Coaches: In her wisdom, maturity, warmth, professionalism and depth of understanding, Mary is uniquely qualified to work with senior coaches. Her gifts are exceptional and our partnership has made me a better coach, consultant and human being. Julie Mitchell, MA, Catalyst, Communicator, Consultant and Founder of CoachWalks, U.S.

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Free Information/Articles

    Descriptions of Key Patterns for Nine Personality Styles:


    Instinctual Subtypes for Each of the Nine:


    Stories About Each:
    Applications to Work and Personal Life:

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

    Enneagram Style One Patterns

    Description Self-observing people with these patterns can be wise, tolerant, balanced, and focused on standards of excellence in ways that provide an exemplary vision for others. In business organizations, they're often the purveyors of quality. When less well-developed, they show their perfectionism, with an internal judging voice that chastises them (or others) for falling short of perfection (preaching). In a very healthy individual, that voice invokes higher attainment (teaching). Their driving force is anger, typically over-controlled until it erupts as resentment when someone has failed to live up to their expectations. They're prone to moral tirades, yet they also show a "running amok" side that allows them to escape their own high standards. 

    Typical Comments "I know I'm right, why should I have to compromise?" "I'm my own worst critic." "My whole career, I've been brought in to fix things." "My message as a kid was always, 'You can do better.'"  

    First-Order Change De-potentiating their critical voice, allowing themselves to be wrong (see video below), techniques for channeling anger more effectively, learning to respond to criticism non-defensively, and moving away from black-and-white thinking with positive reframing and creative problem-solving. 

    Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Developing nuance and options. Patience, the willingness to accept conditions that don't conform to one's ideal. 

    Friday, January 15, 2016

    Enneagram Style Two Patterns

    Description The most interpersonally oriented of all the personality styles, these can be unconditionally caring people who derive deep satisfaction from seeing and encouraging the development of others. In organizations, they're typically great supporters of customer service. When well-developed, they'll also be aware of their own needs, which provides balance in their lives and allows them to give freely, without expectation of return. Their driving force is pride, which is attached to their self-image as helper. People with this personality style tend to be in the middle of things, giving help and advice whether others want it or not. When less developed they have a sense of entitlement and can use manipulation to influence people. If they feel betrayed they may even become vindictive ("After all I've done for you!"). 

    Typical Comments "I think it's important to always focus on what we need to be doing to serve others." "Was that helpful?" "Of all the people in the organization the President could have called, he called me." "Both of my parents were alcoholics, and I took care of them from a very early age." 

    First-Order Change Acknowledging their own needs, seeing how they contribute to their own workload and saying no, setting clearer boundaries, and asserting their interpersonal power more directly. 

    Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Loving, giving without strings. Humility, which is true compassion without expectation.

    (Click here for style Two instinctual subtypes)

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Enneagram Style Three Patterns

    Description People with this personality style are often expansive go-getters. In organizations, they ensure high productivity. Formidable models for others, they're typically efficient and supremely goal-oriented; consequently, they tend to rise to the top in organizations, or to run their own companies. When under-developed they personify image-making, tending to self-promote and showcase themselves at the expense of others. When they look outward for their reflection in the eyes of others, their inner life can be lacking. This driving force is vanity, which shows up as self-deception (e.g., convincing oneself a failure to involve or credit others was not important because of the results achieved).

    Typical Comments "I like seeing success breed upon success." "I've always been successful." "I have a shelf full of empty trophies." "I got pats on the back for doing well in school, and my parents made it clear what would be approved of." 

    First-Order Change Learning to collaborate instead of compete, clarifying their own values/developing internal criteria (vs. external validation), learning from failure, and accessing feelings. 

    Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Inner-directed, communal. Authenticity, speaking from the essential self and not through personality needs. 

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Enneagram Style Four Patterns

    Description People with this personality style are vital to the health of any group because they're able to view things from a new slant and aren't bound by tradition. They can keep an organization from slowly dying out of untested and outdated assumptions. More in touch with their feelings than other styles, they're in danger of sinking into moodiness if they meet with resistance to their ideas. The same talent that allows them to "look outside the box" can leave them wondering why they never see things the way others do, and subsequently to question if they're flawed. Their conversations are ripe with sad stories. Their driving force is envy, which shows up in dissatisfaction, a perception that "the grass is always greener somewhere else." 

    Typical Comments "People call me because they know I'll come at things from a totally different angle." "I buy into the 'vale of tears' theory of life." "I seem to feel things more deeply than others." "I always felt like an outsider as a child." 

    First-Order Change Focusing more on strengths and resources and less on the tragedy of life, learning to develop the possibilities of their current jobs, shifting their moods through physical exercise or creative outlets, reframing self-criticism in more positive ways, and championing a program or process they believe in. 

    Second-Order (Transpersonal) Change Effective in external world. Equanimity, the ability to live fully in the present moment.