Ridge was founded in 1972
by Robert and Dorothy Grover Bolton. They were unlikely entrepreneurs: he was a former minister and couples counselor and she had been a school psychologist. Each saw the destructive effects unskilled communication had on the individuals they worked with.
The Boltons were inspired
by the writings of Martin Buber, the philosopher who advocated living life “on the narrow ridge,” the symbolic place where two people meet when encountering each other authentically. On the ridge people speak the truth, challenge each others’ beliefs, and give each other feedback on their actions. In doing so, they forge relationships that push them to work and live at the height of their abilities.
Bob and Dot spent a year
learning those “ridge skills” from the pioneers of the human potential movement. They trained with Carl Rogers, Herb Otto, Thomas Gordon, and others, observing not just what they taught but how they taught. They took the best of what they learned, added their own special sauce, and began leading workshops in Central New York.
In those early years,
Ridge trained teachers and school administrators to communicate in ways that improved student achievement. Soon businesses begin to hear of Ridge’s success and wanted to apply the Boltons’ “people skills” approach to improving employee performance and satisfaction.
In the decades since,
Ridge has partnered with many of the world’s most prominent organizations, delivering workshops on every continent.
Along the way,
the Boltons authored four books that distilled what they had learned for people unable to attend Ridge training. People Skills and People Styles at Work – and Beyond are bestsellers in their categories. Their most recent books, What Great Trainers Do and Listen Up Or Lose Out were published in the last 5 years.
A lot has changed
in business and in training since the early days of Ridge, but the factors that help people acquire new skills is largely unchanged. Small class sizes. Practice using personalized “real play” scenarios. Individual coaching from master trainers.
As we work with clients
to make people skills a central part of their competitive advantage, Bob & Dot’s spirit remains at the heart of our mission: to help people and organizations improve the quality of work and work life with high-integrity training that sticks.