November 11, 2011 — I am sad to learn of the passing of Barnett Pearce, PhD, President of CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution and one of the giants of dialogue (pictured left).
The first time I met Barnett I was shy. Intimidated is a better word. I was a new dialogue practitioner back in 1995 and I knew that he was one of the seminal thinkers who laid the intellectual foundations of our field. I don't think I said a word beyond "Hello." I needn't have feared, because his curiosity calmed me and his listening opened my voice. He was kind.
In my contacts with Barnett over the succeeding years, my respect only grew as I saw him engaging generously and dialogically with others and with me, ever a junior practitioner in his presence. Of course, I learned a great deal from reading his work on communication, dialogue and the Coordinated Management of Meaning. But mostly, my memory of him is of his person: a keen thinker, an astute observer and a generous man. His curiosity extended into this final phase. In our last conversation, he spoke of the discoveries he was making while figuring out his relationship with cancer. May he rest in peace and may we honor his name.
Robert R. Stains, Jr., MEd,
Senior Vice President
Public Conversations Project
All of us here at PCP echo Bob's sentiments about the loss of this important person in our field. We are lucky to have known and worked with Barnett. Our lives have been enriched by his wisdom.
The CMM Institute invites you to help celebrate the life and work of Barnett Pearce by sharing your personal thoughts and reflections in this online forum. In addition, please consider making a contribution to the CMM Institute in his honor.