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Bold Beautiful Conversations



Now more than ever we need to talk. Not set up more laws or bring people before judges.Our society is polarized to the point of breaking. Yet, a thin thread of connection remains. Will we use it?

The news is difficult to ignore these days, with the upcoming elections and a nomination hearing for a new Supreme Court Justice nomination in Congress.

I, Susan, know this is a business blog. You may wonder why we’re discussing politics. Well, because of the troubled times, it’s difficult to avoid the topic.

I see people taking sides when they make the decision of what broadcast they watch, consuming news based on which side they are on. The result is there’s little actual dialogue happening. Breaking all of us up into our own camps, believing those around us.

Yes, I have an opinion. Don’t you?

I prefer not to share it here because I’ll miss the chance to talk. Sure, we might talk if we agree with one another, but what about if we don’t? My guess is we’d likely defend and fight to be right, rather than talk and hear each other.I am exhausted with the fighting and righting and wronging!

At thrive! we believe in the importance of using conflict. Our entire business is based upon creating a space where differences are welcomed, and emotions are free to be used to spark creativity and transformation.

But that transformation doesn’t happen unless we listen. Creativity and transformation occurs when each person listens deeply to the views of those who think differently. And as a nation we can’t do that when we’re this polarized.

Body Not Brains

In our work with corporate clients, CrisMarie and I talk a lot about ways to calm the nervous system and stay grounded in the present moment during conflict. When we explain our clients nod and smile, but sometimes I wonder if they understand that we’re not talking about a state of mind.

We’re talking about a state that is felt in the body.

Business can be heady and focused in the mind, but business is also built around relationships. And relationships at their best are not simply a mental state or process. Strong relationships engage more than your brain. Strong relationships require your bodies and hearts to develop.

Recently, I worked with a group of executives who were learning lessons of leadership by working with horses.

One of the most refreshing takeaways from the event was how I saw the leaders intuitively understand the value of energy and embodiment as they worked with the horses. I watched as lightbulbs went off when they “felt” the lesson, rather than “thought” it.

Bold and Beautiful Conversations

This is where the concept of “bold and beautiful” conversations come into the equation.

When you allow energy to run through your heart, mind, and body - your entire system – you are at your best.

Many of you may be familiar with the separation of the two hemispheres of the brain, the right and the left. The left is associated with logic, and the right tends to be engaged in more creative endeavors.

But what you might not know is that your emotional brain is linked to both hemispheres. When you only use the logical side you get caught up in the concept of right/wrong and past/future. As a result, you play on a narrow path, and may miss your peer’s point of view.

When you tap both the left and right, by fully embracing your emotional capacity, and allowing the totality of your cellular circuitry to run, you connect on a much more universal pathway to all that is around you. This is what I think of when people talk about higher consciousness.

If you, and I, are able to bring that consciousness and connection to your day-to-day life, and stop operating on the narrow path of righteousness, you, and I, could access all that collective creativity for the betterment of all of us, not just some of us.

The way to do this is not through thinking, it is through feeling, and being open to the sensations in your body, as well as, your inner emotional landscape.

Listen Like It’s Music

Listen to the beauty of our differences like you listen to music.

Feel for the new possibility. When someone is expressing an alternative view, the key is to not simply listen to the words, but listen to the non-verbal notes, and notice your own resonate sensations, reactions or responses, beyond just your thinking.

In other words, be bold in your delivery of how you have put the world together – and then listen deeply to the beauty of those that offer new notes, new opposing views.

This allows a bridge to be created that is not simply right or wrong. Your views mix and influence mine and vice versus, a whole new symphony is created.

What I think many of us are missing is that we as humans are much more interconnected than we are separate - yet we get stuck in our differences.

Be it in the boardroom or in the courtroom, we won’t get to new ways of working together by just thinking this through - we have to risk feeling it through.

Step out of your comfortable position and listen to a different point of view. This is the only way transformation and innovation is going to be tapped.

Be bold and beautiful in your conversations this week be it at work, at home or in your community.


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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