Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #4

Posted on | October 30, 2009 | Comments Off on Personal Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Transformation #4

HOW IT ALL STARTED:

MY FIRST CONTACT WITH EST

I had been avoiding Werner Erhard’s workshop for years, mostly because of what I saw as the ‘hype’ surrounding the enrollment/recruiting process.  (Once these people got your name, you couldn’t shake them!)  Ironically, it felt exactly like being on the other end of a conversation with an intense true-believer from a fundamentalist religious sect:  Unpleasant, and a major hurdle for many people getting into the seminars.  But basically, est never seemed like anything I needed to bother with.  Just some more ‘California hot tub bullshit,’ as a friend put it.

Then my long time colleague and consulting partner, Bob Crosby, announced one day at a Staff Meeting that he was going to something called ‘The Communication Workshop.’  This was, in itself, very surprising to me, since I had learned most of what I knew in the area of communication from Bob.  He ‘wrote the book’ on Communications.  What could he possibly see in this workshop? I mused.

The weekend of the workshop came and went, and at our Staff Meeting an Monday morning, Bob was not there.  We started without him.  A few moments later the door opened, and in walked Bob.  He sat down, looked me right in the eye, and said, ‘John, I blew it.  I’m late.  I know my being late make it tough for you and the team to work.  How can I make it up to you?’  It was said with such clarity and straightness that, somewhat surprised and delighted, I responded, ‘I think you just did!’

The changes in the way Bob communicated and conducted himself in the months following were frankly astonishing to me and to my colleagues.  Bob and I had been close friends and partners for 12 years, and I had become resigned to some of his characteristics.  But they changed.  They changed.  Bob simply changed in areas where change seemed to be at least unlikely, and in some cases, even impossible.

I was stunned.  I said to myself, ‘I must go and see this thing which has come to pass!’  My wife, Catharine, and I signed up for the next Course with Bob as our Sponsor.




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