Tuesday, March 1, 2022

About Mary Bast

In 1982, I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in social psychology, with dual emphasis on organization development and personal growth. Already 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 and team development. Hundreds of my executive clients put failing careers back on track, attained desired positions, and developed more effective teams. (The variety of client industries included community mental health, financial services, health insurance, home improvement, software development, scientific research, toy manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and many others.) Though headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, I became a Delta Million Miler, traveling from East Coast to West Coast and many points in between.

Out of the Box Coaching (1998-2018): During the years of on-site executive coaching, it became clear that career success only scratched the surface of my clients' potential (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 coaching practice. Having learned the Enneagram early in my Bast Consulting years, the data I'd collected about diverse clients in a variety of industries became Out of the Box Coaching with the Enneagram (with co-author Clarence Thomson), the first Enneagram coaching book. I managed this practice mainly with phone coaching, plus presentations at several International Enneagram Association conferences.

The Evocative Enneagram (2019+): While coaching clients worldwide by phone for twenty years, I continually learned and revised my work, resulting in a mindful approach that evokes transpersonal change--loosening ego bonds, personality patterns, and defenses, leading to heightened awareness, an awakened sense of purpose, and commitment to seek out the possible, moving from sense of self as "a number" through awareness of all nine patterns and noticing when moving toward a fixation at one or more points.

From September 2022 through August 2023, I'm attending an 11-month course with Russ Hudson and Sandra Maitri's experiential approach to A.H. Almaas' new book, Keys to the Enneagram. My Enneagram writings have always focused on stories, and over the coming months I'll be considering my own and former clients' stories that reflect, in Michael Goldberg's words, what "undermining and deconstructing the fixation" might look like, illuminated by my inspirations from the Keys to the Enneagram course.