Turn Your Team’s Conflict Into Creative Solutions with Thrive, Inc’s Dynamic Duo

Turn Your Team's Conflict Into Creative Solutions with Thrive, Inc's Dynamic Duo

I frequently watch (and recommend) Ted Talks. In less than 20 minutes I can learn new ideas with compelling speakers. However, I don’t usually get the pleasure of recommending a talk from brilliant and engaging friends and colleagues. CrisMarie and Susan are two partners who work with teams in conflict recently rocked TedxWhitefish with their talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It!

I got them to share with me some of the behind the scenes of their Tedx Talk.

Click here to watch their Tedx talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! and read below for my exclusive Q&A with them!

Q: How did you discover that your sweet spot was working with teams in conflict?

First we are a team AND we quickly learned working together that conflict was a natural part of the process! In our first client off-site, our differences were shocking to us both but instead of getting stuck, we really discovered ways to use those differences for creative solutions for the client – it was amazing – that team was transformed and so were we!

Since then we now know that when we are sparking at each other, something creative is as likely as is a blow-up! So we have learned to hang in there – and now our clients report back that they do the same.

When we are working with a client, our modeling real-time conflict through our own vulnerability and curiosity has been the most significant difference between us and other consultants. Our clients value that transparency and it has made that one of our differentiators.

Q: How did you both come to the decision to share such powerful personal stories in your talk?

Well we knew being vulnerable was important to model and these stories are instrumental to who we each are and why we do what we do! For CrisMarie this was a completion point for lots of work she has been doing to find her voice and reclaim her awesomeness!

For me (Susan)- I can be interpreted as intense and challenging – underneath that is this live/death passion I have for people getting how their stories limit and control their aliveness – my story did for me for YEARS! I am passionate and intense and I figure I better say why.

Q: What is your top tip about dealing with conflict that didn’t make it into the Ted Talk?

What we don’t share in our TED Talk is the tool for applying vulnerability and curiosity – which is Check it out! (Click here to read more on their blog post “Increase Your Team IQ – Check It Out!”)

Just recently someone reported she was introduced to ‘check it out’ over ten years ago by a shared CEO client and has used it ever since both at work and at home. It’s like magic for our client’s teams.

Q: Anything else you’d love your Tedx talk viewers to know?

We really believe this work applies to teams and any significant relationship. Teams that understand and apply it really do get do get innovative, profitable results over and over again – PLUS they experience more fulfillment and connection and have resilience both at work and at home!

One additional piece to mention – using vulnerability and curiosity on teams isn’t a formula – it can and often is – messy, raw and real – it takes discipline and commitment to hang in. But is well worth it. We hear this all the time from past clients – “I still use what I learned from you guys – it’s saved my marriage and made work way more fulfilling.”

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

Leave a Comment