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Relationships Matter as Much As Results



Recently I’ve had a number of situations where I have been asked, “What do you do?”

My response is, “I work with leaders and their teams that are stuck in conflict and help them embrace conflict and use it for creative, innovative solutions.”

The comment I get back, “Oh, so you do corporate work.”

I often find myself resistant to saying yes. I just don’t think of what we do as corporate work.

I am curious about my reaction. Because we do work with corporate teams, even some very large corporations. But still, I don’t think of us as corporate.

So what is the deal and why do I react so strongly to being corporate?

For me, it is that our relationship isn’t with the corporation. Our relationship is with the team leader and the team.

It is a personal relationship that we develop. Yes, it is hopefully related and aligned with the corporate direction and values, but frankly, my interest and commitment is to the collected group of people sitting around the table in front of us.

Sure sometimes that group is the executive team for a large corporation. But to me they are unique individuals with their own differences and styles, meaning that each off-site and interaction is unique. The challenges being faced and the path to the best solution won’t be repeated. Even when working with the same team over time, things change, interactions are distinct. Across an organization, when we are working with various teams, that is even more pronounced.

Our work is designed to provide a container for a team to develop trust and create space for embracing conflict and discovering new possibilities.

We are committed to working with what is showing in the room in that moment. In the best of situations, we are addressing real-time issues and supporting each team in getting better at finding their ideal level of tension and ambiguity that will allow for creative dialogue and debate.

Somehow the word corporate just doesn't fit that scenario.

We’ve been wrestling with this and trying to find the right language to communicate who we are and what we do.

For us, the relationships matter as much as the results! (Maybe more!)

Our best client engagements come from situations where a leader, or a team member contacts us because of a direct word-of-mouth referral or because they saw us speak and want us to work with their team.

When we have gotten a call from HR, it has been someone in HR who has had a previous relationship with one of us. They want to bring us in because they know who we are and what we have done with their team previously.

So we do work with corporation, and I don’t think we are corporate. You know, you tell us.

Are we corporate?

What am I missing? We’d love to hear your point of view!

For now, I think it’s best to say: we believe relationships matter as much as results and our commitment is to make the relationship we create with you – very important!

We want you to be successful.

We want you and your team to create powerful relationships that bring out the best in you as individuals and collectively!

Yes, we work with corporations – one team at a time!


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.


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