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  • Writer's pictureThrive Inc.

Dealing With Change In The New Hybrid World

We have experienced a tremendous amount of change in the last year, and many people are dealing with changes related to work, economic situations, and their personal lives. This week, we’re wrapping up our Beauty of Conflict for Teams series by focusing on change and the transition period that comes with it.

People need time to process change and what’s occurred, and everybody goes through the transition process at different speeds. It is important for organizations to realize this and support their employees through the change process accordingly.

Join us this week as we’re showing you how to process the change you may have gone through in the last year and sharing some tips to cope with change effectively. We share the three stages of transition and why it is a psychological reorientation, and how understanding this will help you to support yourself through change.

If you’d like us to speak at your organization about conflict, stress, team-building, or leadership, work with your team virtually, or coach you or leaders on your team, reach out to us!

If you enjoyed the show, please share the podcast with your family and friends, or post a five-star review on iTunes. Rating and reviewing the show helps spread the word, which means less friction and suffering for everyone, and who doesn’t want that?

Learn More:

  • How leaders can help employees process change and help them with transition.

  • What a transition deficit is and how to know if you’re experiencing it.

  • The four ‘R’s when it comes to change and why they are important.

  • How to support yourself through change.

  • What C.U.S.P is and how it can help you process change.

  • Why burnout is so prevalent and how to deal with it.


Full Transcript:

CrisMarie: Welcome to The Beauty of Conflict, a podcast about how to deal with conflict at work, at home and everywhere else in your life. I am CrisMarie.

Susan: And I'm Susan.

CrisMarie: We run a company called Thrive Inc, and we specialize in conflict resolution, stress management coaching and building strong, thriving teams and relationships both in person and virtually.

Susan: We are starting 2021 with a series based on our book, The Beauty of Conflict for Teams. We’ll be sharing tips, tools about how to make your team work more effectively especially in this remote and virtual environment. We hope you’ll walk away from this episode and this series with some fresh ideas that change your day, your week and even your life.

CrisMarie: Hi. I’m CrisMarie Campbell.

Susan: And I’m Susan Clarke.

CrisMarie: And we are wrapping up our Beauty of Conflict for Teams series based on our book The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team’s Competitive Advantage available on Amazon. And with a focus on change, we’re focusing on one of our later chapters, Chapter 28: Increase your ROI on Change. Because when I was working at Arthur Andersen I was tasked at helping CEOs who were implementing mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, implementing ERP systems.

And the biggest mistake these CEOs made was to be focusing only on the business or what we call the smart side of the project. And ignoring what we call the healthy or the human side of the project. And my job was to say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re not going to be successful. You’re going to throw money down the drain if you don’t bring these people along and have them embrace the change.” And that takes time and effort and focus. Don’t you think, Susan?

Susan: I totally agree CrisMarie. And right now this is maybe even more critical because as we all know, we’ve been going through a tremendous amount of changes in the last year. And just this past week Microsoft put out an article which we just love the title because it was so perfect, The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work. Are you ready?

CrisMarie: So, hybrid meaning, well some people are going to come back to the office and some people are going to be remote. And maybe there’ll even be a rotational process where you come in Monday, Tuesday like the kids at school, two days a week. And somebody else comes in two days a week.

Susan: Yes, this hybrid version for Microsoft and other tech companies has been happening in schools now for quite a while. And it’s interesting, that they are the test case. I have some questions about how that pans out. But anyway definitely we have been experiencing some version of either remote, hybrid, opening, reclosing, tremendous amount of change. And really if a company isn’t paying attention to this now there is going to be a lot of pain and suffering, both a lot of money that goes down the drain and a lot of suffering on the behalf of leaders and the employees.

CrisMarie: Yes. And this isn’t also happening in a vacuum. We’ve been having all these social justice issues, traumatic shootings, politics. We have been living through a really chaotic time. And so we want to talk a little bit about change and then also transition because change is when you’ve moved or you’ve changed a job. There is one day that you’re working at your old job and the next day you’re at the new job. Or you’re living in Seattle and you move to Montana like we did.

Susan: And I know CrisMarie it’s kind of funny because I think people think that this pandemic’s going to be like that. We closed now we’re reopening. And obviously that has not been the case either, even change has become not one static point, there has been, we opened then we closed, then we’ve reopened then we’ve closed.

CrisMarie: So there’s vacillating changes. But then there’s this internal process that people don’t necessarily, aren’t really cognitively aware of but it’s so important and it’s the transition. And the transition is your internal psychological reorientation to the new way. And that’s really tricky when you have all these different changes and they’re like you’re saying Susan, they’re going back and forth. And managing all that, you get into what we call a transition deficit, meaning how do I catch up with my own feelings about what’s been going on because a transition is a three step process.

Susan: Well, also you might want to add. I think the transition is the psychological aspect of change. So I just want to add that word because you were talking about what’s going on internally inside of me at that change moment.

CrisMarie: Yes, it’s that psychological reorientation.

Susan: You did say it. I’m sorry, CrisMarie, I may have interrupted you falsely. But I just…

CrisMarie: No worries. We’re really driving that home. Because the internal transition first is about endings because any change even a change that you like, like having a baby, something that you wanted has something that you’re losing. You no longer have your sleep at night it could be. So endings are really about sorting your losses and there could be losses of turf, status, meaning, attachment, identity. There’s many more but those are some key areas where we experience loss when something changes.

Susan: And even recognizing this current situation CrisMarie, there are all sorts of things. There’s dealing with the endings and the loss related to your work. There is related potentially to your economic situation. You may have lost loved ones. There are so many different aspects that we as a culture with a pandemic occurring are now all facing some version of this.

CrisMarie: Yeah. I mean even I lost an aunt during this timeframe and we couldn’t go home to her funeral because of what’s going on. And a neighbor lost her mother very early on and she’s a doctor. And she couldn’t go home to the funeral.

Susan: And these aren’t people both in these situations, neither was because of Covid but both still significant losses. There’s so much that has gone on in the world in the last 12 months a lot of which we may or may not have realized, or recognized, or dealt with the significant changes that have occurred.

CrisMarie: And part of that processing, recognizing that even a corporate change, people need to process. So all these bigger pieces or more personal pieces that are going on, these changes, people need to personally process. And everybody goes through a transition at a different rate. And some people, like when we moved to Montana, Susan tell me where I’m wrong but you were like, “Boom, I am home, I feel great.”

Susan: Yes. We moved from Seattle to Montana and I probably never really landed fully in Seattle because prior to that I had been on an island up in Canada. And so when I arrived in Seattle, I mean in Montana, it felt more at home to me than I had. Now, you on the other hand…

CrisMarie: I was lying when we went to clients, I’d say, “You know I still live in Seattle.” Not consciously actually, that was more – I just had that sense of home was Seattle for me. Because I don’t know if I gave you the three stages of transition, it starts with ending which is about actually feeling your feelings of grief and noticing what you’re losing and what you’re gaining, sorting that.

But also there is this neutral zone. There is this in between time where you’re not in the old way, you’re not in the new way and it can feel quite disorienting, productivity goes down. Even moving, I didn’t know where to get my hair cut, where do I get the oil changed in the car, all that takes more time to figure out.

Susan: You can share it too I hope that for maybe three years you kept going back to Seattle to get your hair cut.

CrisMarie: I know.

Susan: And I don’t think we drove the car back for the oil change but we actually left the car in Seattle so maybe we did. And now I mean I also just want to bring up…

CrisMarie: I didn’t say the third stage is the new beginning and that, so it’s ending neutral zone, new beginning. And that’s a time where you’re like I feel like myself again. I’ve got my energy back. I’m used to this and my productivity is back up.

Susan: And I think for some people this whole experience may have – maybe they’ve gone through it fairly quickly. But for the most part we have been in a kind of constant state of the neutral zone for a while now because even if we thought we were getting a new beginning, there’d be surges or something would happen. Or we’d have political issues or social injustice issues. And everything would be disrupted again.

So it really is important to recognize that for probably most of us, we’re still in some form of the neutral zone. So even if you run a business you’re still dealing with some of that as well.

CrisMarie: Yeah. Think about whether you’re running a business, you’re an employee, what have been all the different changes that you’ve had to grapple with during this past year, even during the last I’d say three or four months with it could be the election. It could be the kids changing their school rhythms, whether you’re on the same job or same project.

And what happens is normally when there is a change that’s occurring in the office it’s because we think okay, this change is going to help us be more productive. That’s why we’re putting in this new system. That’s why we’re reorganizing. But what leaders fail to notice is any time you make a change, productivity drops. And as people are trying to figure out, what’s going on and you can get stuck in what’s called the valley of despair. And that’s just, especially if leaders don’t help employees process through that change that’s when you can start to help people become more productive.

Susan: So right now CrisMarie in terms of, you know, I don’t know, it’s kind of tricky. Sometimes it can seem so much easier to look at the change. But because of the multitude of changes now it may be very difficult for leaders in organizations to really even begin to know how to support because one thing, it’s what they have to deal with related to the business. But people are at home and they’re dealing with their kids more, there isn’t the compartmentalization around work and life that we may have had at some other point.

And so it really becomes critical to not so much get definitive about what the change is or isn’t, but have conversations about change and how do you deal with change. And what is trusting that people are going to be able and willing to show up and talk about what they need.

CrisMarie: It’s true. I mean when we do change seminars with organizations that are going through a distinct change. We help people process through what actually is ending for them. Is it their meaning? Is their attachments because the people they are working with are changing or their identity, who they are as a person? And then we talk about what we call the four R’s which is how are you going to replace, redefine, reinvent your world or what do you need to relinquish? What do you need to just let go of?

And I’ll give you a story that helps me kind of, what do those four words mean and how do I actually apply that? When the let’s say the fires down in California took out a whole neighborhood. There are some people who they lost their whole home but they could replace it, they had insurance. The kids were still there so they built the exact same replica of the home and they could.

Other people their home burnt down and they were like, “You know what? The kids are gone, let’s remodel or redefine our home. We don’t need that big home so we’re going to do this.” And they’d come up with a redefinition of their home and they’d rebuild it. Some people’s home burnt down and they’re like, “You know what? We don’t need to stay in this neighborhood. Let’s get an expensive Winnebago and we’ll travel the world.” So they reinvented what home meant to them.

And other people who had no insurance they had to relinquish and let go and process through that loss of their home. So replace, redefine, reinvent and relinquish. And certainly with Covid the relinquishing of people that you’ve lost, you know income that has been lost because of the change in business.

Susan: Or maybe your business closed. Whether it’s your small business that you owned or a business you were a part of.

CrisMarie: I mean some people they replaced, maybe it was fine, like a nurse who worked at a hospital or a doctor.

Susan: They’re probably dealing more – they’re not dealing with the loss, they’re in the same job. But they may have a lot of grief related to the work they’ve done in the last year which has to be dealt with. But in terms of the job itself, yeah, it could just keep going. They may have had a very similar job.

CrisMarie: Redefine, I’ve talked to more than one person who is like, “You know what? Because I’m a remote worker and I still have my job, I’m going to redefine.” And they’ve bought a house in Arizona. They live up in Seattle. They spend half the year both places and they can. So they’ve redefined how they’re doing their work.

Susan: Reinventing, that’s kind of like what we had to do. We were going to clients and working very first hand with teams and things like that. And we’ve had to reinvent ourselves. Our focus now, yes, we still do the team work but we’ve done a lot more coaching of leaders. We’ve done a lot more stress related things for organizations and people. And we do a lot more of it from home.

CrisMarie: And yeah, the team sessions that we do, do are virtual and we’re taking teams through their strategic topics. And relinquish, I guess that would be even like what you’re saying not being able to go to funerals or see people that we have wanted.

Susan: Or people who had to let go of their business, they had to shutter it up and close it down. There is a lot of that I think for people who were in the restaurant industry, different places.

CrisMarie: I think about New York City, I’m not there but I can imagine all those small businesses that had those, you know, they’re all boarded closed. How could they survive a whole year with having to pay rent? What’s going to happen for those businesses?

Susan: There’s a lot of different stories about that. I remember here in Montana there was a lot of farmers had food resources which they could no longer send to restaurants and things like that. I mean the thing I remember is the story about the goat cheese. And there’s incredible goat cheese. But they actually found a way to work together.

CrisMarie: Well, let’s back up because I think there is a farmer that makes this very high end goat cheese here in Montana. And they had a great distribution channel to all these high end restaurants that no longer needed their goat cheese and so they found a new way.

Susan: Well, and some of that was that it was not just high end here in Montana.

CrisMarie: No, across the nation, yeah.

Susan: And they could no longer get the trucks in here, all sorts. So they did, I think where they actually made it available much more locally. They worked with other farmers to distribute it. And they kept themselves going as a result of this effort.

CrisMarie: And I think they got into natural food stores and sent it out that way. But they had to come up with new distribution channels lickety-split. Think about yourself and what have you had to replace, or redefine, or reinvent, or even relinquish about how you do your work, how you do your family, your relationships, anything in those categories.

Susan: I mean I also know, I mean because of all the things that have happened around social injustice, politics, things like that. I know families that have had major divides, and there’s a lot of loss in that. Are we going to get through this? And it is one of those things where the first step to even imagining getting through it is to identify what you have lost. And to really look at that and recognize without that willingness to name it, to acknowledge it, to feel it, it’s very hard to get to the next place.

CrisMarie: I do think sometimes people are so uncomfortable, they feel uncomfortable but they don’t know what do I do to process that? So what you’re saying Susan, just even write down what have you lost and what haven’t you lost. I think because when we’re in our upset-ness it can feel like I am losing everything. And we forget, well, we still have the same house let’s say for us, we still have the same relationship. We do have work. And there’s pieces that we have lost.

Susan: And when we’re working with organizations, it’s always so powerful for me CrisMarie, when those groups break into groups and just talk amongst themselves about what they’ve lost. And some people it’s a big deal, and some people it’s not a big deal. But to even name it, it’s like right then, there’s a connection that is deeper and important to make.

CrisMarie: Yeah. We’ve been doing some talks about change and transition during this new environment and even virtually, breaking people into breakout groups. That’s been the sweet spot, we give them some information but then when they can connect in smaller pods and talk about it, and relate to each other, it’s so healing, it really is.

Now, also in this neutral zone which you may find yourself, the neutral zone is this, again this in between place and all this is based off the work of William Bridges. I was certified in his model way back at Arthur Andersen, helping organizations. But this neutral zone, again you’re not in the old world, you’re not in the new world. That may sound kind of familiar to you right now. And so you really want to find ways to support yourself. And there’s an acronym that’s very helpful called CUSP, meaning you want to replace what transition and change takes away.

So you want to figure out what can you control, that’s the C of CUSP C.U.S.P. So what can you control in your world? What do you need to understand and where can you get the information about what are the new changes that are happening at work?

Susan: What’s happening in my state or my area around Covid regulations? What’s happening around travel? What’s happening around the schools?

CrisMarie: What’s happening around vaccines? So what do you need to understand? So control, what can you control, what can’t you? What do you need to understand and how can you get that information? What support do you need? And this is like do you need to talk to your spouse, or talk to your coach, or a therapist, or your best friend? Actually getting that support is crucial.

And the last P is purpose. We tend to have when we were doing strategic planning, let’s say January 2020, we had no idea. And then Covid blew everything up. And so you can’t have long range plans as much as you could, so what’s your short term purpose maybe through the end of June? Quarterly hops is what we call them, or it might even be this week as you go through transition. So what’s your purpose for the shorter time? So CUSP is C.U.S.P. control, understand, support and purpose.

Susan: And you may have to look at that in variable ways. Think about it related to your work. Think about it related to your children in school. And there could be a variety, a hybrid version. And so you can’t bifurcate them anymore. Maybe we should go. That was a word we used to try to get in there.

CrisMarie: Try to get in there, an SAT word, bifurcate. One thing I didn’t say about endings that is I was coaching somebody who in this environment was changing jobs. And he had had a really tough time at his past job which is why he changed companies even. And so what we respond to around endings is ceremony because that really – that speaks to us as a being. That’s why we have marriages, and funerals, and baptisms or these ceremonies.

And so what he did is he wrote down all the things he was letting go of. They were good and bad. There was a lot of bad things because he was unhappy. But there was also some good things. And then he had his kids around and his spouse. And then he put them in the fire, he named them and put them in the fireplace. And that is a great purging and letting go.

Susan: And you could do that as a family with your family. Or just the person you were coaching but I’m imagining they did that with each member of their family but yeah, I think that’s cool.

CrisMarie: Yeah. So think about ways that you can, like a demarcation, a line in the sand that we are now stepping into this new way and we are letting go of this old way.

Susan: Yeah. I think of, I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to or coached over the last year where one of their big ceremonial things was making their office in their home the way they really wanted it to be. And now actually one of them is just getting ready to return to work. And it’s like I’m very attached to my office now. So there was the whole thing around, okay, so how could you take some aspect of this part of your office back to your old office.

And go in there with the intention of you don’t have to have that old office to be the way it was before which was that he was like, “That’s a whole different idea.” And then another friend of mine said they were just going to burn all of their masks. And I was like, “Please don’t do that yet.”

CrisMarie: We haven’t all been vaccinated yet.

Susan: Let’s just keep some of that just in case we still need them.

CrisMarie: So think about some creative ceremonies that you can do as you’re going through these markers where things are going to be different. And I mean some people have really loved remote working. So actually going back to the office is going to be commuting again.

Susan: Well, and it becomes even more important for businesses to pay attention and talk more openly about the diversity in people’s responses to what is going on, even what’s gone on for them during this past 12 months. And I don’t know that we were always very good at doing that before Covid. But now Covid has brought it to a real head. We need to be more open and willing to use each other as a support because during this past year one of the things we’ve spent a lot of time talking about is burnout.

And burnout is just simply, you know, it’s happened in medical and healthcare jobs. It’s happened in tech jobs.

CrisMarie: People are like yes, because people are like, “Now I have no boundaries. I can be a call at 6:00am or 11:00pm.” And so burnout is really a real thing to deal with and that’s the stress piece that we talk about, unpack your stress. And burnout, one of the big things, a couple of girls wrote a book called Burnout which we highly recommend.

Susan: Twin sisters.

CrisMarie: Yes, twins.

Susan: Emily and I can’t remember the other name.

CrisMarie: I know. But check that out. And the biggest thing that people resonate in that book is about emotions because we were never taught, most of us how to deal with these emotions, this energy that happens inside of us. I mean mostly we like to pretend they’re not there, feel shame about feeling emotional. But emotions are a huge part of our energy system. And they’re in the body.

And the burnout comes when people start to feel something and go, “I shouldn’t feel that. I’m just going to squish that down. I’m going to pretend it’s not there. I’m going to be very reasonable and rational.” And what happens is it gets stuck. And so getting through burnout is about being willing to allow that emotion to go through, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. And allow it to move through you, could be like a tsunami, like a tidal wave or it could be like a little trickle.

But have it move through you and then you get the light at the end of the tunnel which is the feeling better after you’ve cried, or vented, or whatever that, you know, those are usually two that people have a hard time with, their sadness, their grief and their anger.

Susan: Well, and these days also I think shame, it’s an emotion that is – it is a feeling and so much gets talked about that it’s, you know, because it naturally is that moment where you feel like I’ve been a part of something that violates my own values or harms somebody else. And in that moment what you want to do probably is hide and duck that shame feeling. And what actually really works for shame is if you can actually talk about it, open up to it; put some light on it, not run away from it.

And we have a very hard time dealing with shame which is I think one of the challenges we are currently facing around looking at some of these long systemic issues is, can we feel that shame? Or can we feel that hate, rage, anger and pain?

CrisMarie: I so agree Susan. And really the shame around the social justice is what I think you’re referring to and the privilege and feeling that shame. And what we tend to want to do is I’m not going to feel that shame so I’m going to either blame myself; I’m just a horrible person. Or blame somebody else because I’m not willing to allow that heat that rises, that whatever your shame response is. And it’s good to get to know it and allow it to move through your body.

Susan: I read this article, it just still, I mean this is a totally different version of the same thing but they were talking about education. And it was an article about a little girl. The parents were dealing with their little first grader who was…

CrisMarie: She was kindergarten wasn’t she?

Susan: I think it was first grade, may have been, okay let’s go with first grade. But the point is she was going to school for a first day of remote school. And they were going through what all teachers right now have been asked to do, try to figure this out. And the teacher was trying to help the children. I think they were on Teams, not to say that whatever version of it makes a difference. But they were trying to teach them how to mute and un-mute and dealing with, they had all these ways to do it but not much was working well.

And this little girl was really struggling to pay attention until she discovered that she could use Microsoft Paint. And so she started doodling and her father…

CrisMarie: How creative of her.

Susan: She was very creative. Her father was like, “She’s learned how to multitask”, but also trying to put the pressure back on her to, “You’ve got to stay on the screen.” And then at various points she crawled under her bed and he had to talk her out. And she, you know, at one point she was doing the Microsoft Paint and was doodling. And she got asked a question so she couldn’t answer. So at the very end of the day the first thing she said is, “I am the worst student in the class.” Because she felt she had done it so poorly.

And this was an article written by the father because I’m worried. I have to help my daughter not take on that shame of her first day in school. We’ve done something wrong that we’ve gotten ourselves to this point. But it was just such a, you know, it just touched my heart because these are challenging times. That she was actually willing to talk to her parents, that’s the difference.

CrisMarie: I was going to say, at least like I was thinking about how to let her feel her feelings. But even processing them with mom and dad so they can actually help her see, she’s shining a light on this is how I’m feeling. And they can help her reframe it like, “Oh sweetie, you’re doing very well.”

Susan: Yeah, you’re maybe not the best one in the class but no one is, even the teacher doesn’t know how to use these mediums, neither do we.

CrisMarie: I think they were making – wasn’t it they were practicing animal sounds like muting and un-muting?

Susan: Yes, something like that. Yeah, I was touched by the story because this is happening to all ages. And we may not even notice unless we actually talk about what is the impact of all the change that we have been going through as we begin to – we’re not going back to normal. So we are going somewhere new.

CrisMarie: I think that’s why it’s so important, I have a coach and I talk to my coach and process this. I also do it with you Susan. But because we can get so caught in unproductive spins and negative feelings that maybe I don’t process through. And then I start acting from those.

Susan: I was thinking CrisMarie, when we did our thing on the Four Horsemen on teams, which we’ve now, we’ve named them to the Toxic Team Killers.

CrisMarie: Four Toxic Team Killers. You can find those videos on LinkedIn under Thrive Inc if you follow us.

Susan: Yes. They’re still in process of coming out. But the whole idea that under stress these four horsemen show up more and more, which are criticism.

CrisMarie: Yeah. The four toxic team killers are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.

Susan: Now, we know that those four things are destructive in marriages, thanks to the Gottman’s, that’s where it came from, The Four Horsemen, we’ve talked about that before. They also show up on teams which is really just another version of significant relationships. We won’t call them marriages, but important relationships. And they show up often under stress. And it’s so easy under stress to not realize that you’ve gone to criticism, or contempt, or defensiveness.

CrisMarie: Or even stonewalling. And on teams that are virtual it immediately shuts down conversation and people go, “Okay, never mind. I’m not going to speak.” And real conversations aren’t had. People start managing their behavior for effect because they don’t want to be on the butt end of contempt or criticism. And so it really stalls any sort of creativity and healthy dialog.

So you really want to be aware of if your negative feelings are coming out in the form of criticism, contempt, defensiveness or stonewalling, which stonewalling is like I’m just not going to answer. I’m just going to shut down.

Susan: But usually, the thing, if you pick up that you’re stonewalling, you know you’re in some sort of overwhelm, what we refer to in our book as an [inaudible]. And the best thing you can do is do something to take care of that, take a break.

CrisMarie: Yes. And some of the things that you can do if you are struggling with how you’re feeling in any given day is the first thing is move your body, take a walk, get up and dance, change your environment, just move your body, exercise. And then what we’ve talked about over and over again is breathe. We do have a whole podcast on just breathing.

Susan: Yes. Another thing is make connection, don’t isolate and go away. Especially if you’re in those feelings of shame, what you tend to want to do, don’t. Talk to someone. Find a way, that’ll put you back into connection.

CrisMarie: Even if, you don’t have to even necessarily talk about your shame but you’re just kind of waving to your neighbor as you pick up the paper or smiling to people. Just those social connections so make us feel a part of something.

Susan: Yes. And yes, and talk to loved ones. Find a way to talk to the people that do – that you haven’t talked to for a long time.

CrisMarie: I know that I have reconnected with my two nephews and my niece and all my cousins, I didn’t even really think about having. I’m a part of this larger family with my aunt dying who was a very special woman, Bernadette Murphy. And that has made me help process some of this grief that I’m in.

Susan: Yeah. And another let yourself cry. And those of you that really don’t know how to cry, maybe just let yourself laugh a little. Listen to a child laugh because laughter and crying have some similar things when it’s sincere. It’s not like laughing at somebody, like sarcastic laughter. It’s that deep belly laugh and it’s actually the same thing that can relate to a wail or a cry.

CrisMarie: I know some people think I don’t want to cry because if I cry I’ll never stop. And really you will. It won’t last that long.

Susan: I have a medical doctor that I really – Wayne Dodd, he’s just a great guy, he goes, “In all of my years of medical practice no one has ever died from crying.” So he’s very reassuring about that.

CrisMarie: And the last piece is just do some sort of creative expression, not to make art, not for perfectionism. Take some crayons out, and that may sound so childish, but those of you that have kids, I love to color. I don’t have kids and I have crayons and just that expression, play your guitar. Susan’s taking guitar lessons.

Susan: Yes. And I think that little girl in first grade, she got Microsoft Paint and doodling because she was under stress and it worked for her.

CrisMarie: So doing something that makes you feel more whole in yourself.

Susan: Well, we have kind of gone all over the place, but we started talking about change. We’ve talked about burnout. We’ve talked about a variety of different…

CrisMarie: And change and transition, the endings, the neutral zone, the new beginnings. So you want to replace, redefine, reinvent and relinquish what you’re losing. And think about what you can control, this is in the neutral zone, CUSP, what you can control, what you need to understand, get the support. And identify a short term purpose.

Susan: Now, these are all things that we’ve covered more extensively in our book The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team’s Competitive Advantage. And if you haven’t bought that book yet, get it now because this will be our last, this particular teams’ series.

CrisMarie: And it’s available on Amazon, The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team’s Competitive Advantage. You can get the kindle version. And I wanted to just say, any of you that are leading teams, it’s a little bit tricky right now, but to support your people through this, you want to think of what we call the four P’s and the two C’s which is the four P’s are picture, purpose, plan and part. And what that means is try to paint a picture and it might be a short term picture of what this next phase will be, what you’re hoping success looks like.

And help people understand the why of what’s happening, whether it’s a re-org, this hybrid workplace. And what’s the plan, what’s a, b, c and d? And what’s the part you want them to play? And this is where you’re asking people to engage. When we are working with a team we want them to show up vulnerable, real, with curiosity. You want people maybe to be proactive, reach out to each other.

And the other two, so those are the four P’s if you’re a leader, think about your communications in those terms. And then the two C’s are connection and caring. Help people stay connected. You may assume people are connected because they’re all connected to you. But a lot of times just stopping and asking, “How you doing”, is a really powerful way to make sure people know that you feel connected and that you care about them.

Susan: Okay, glad you added that.

CrisMarie: She was very impatient, I could tell, her little pursed lips.

Susan: I could tell when you looked at me that you didn’t think I was showing concern and care. However, I really did get this is an important piece to add.

CrisMarie: Yes. For the leaders out there running teams and you know what? We are actively building our LinkedIn presence on Thrive Inc. And we would so appreciate if you go to LinkedIn, you can connect to CrisMarie Campbell, Susan B. Clarke and then the business, Thrive Inc, there’s lots of them out there so make sure it’s the purple one with the green dot because we are releasing our video series of the Four Toxic Team Killers. They’re short little videos you can share with your team.

We’re putting out content every day on that page and we really want you to get access to it. It’s free. It’s for you. So follow us at Thrive Inc on LinkedIn.

Susan: Alright, take care and we’ll talk again soon.

Wow, CrisMarie, I have sure been enjoying doing this series for teams and utilizing our chapters from our book The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team’s Competitive Advantage. It’s been fun to go back and review the material and apply it to virtual teams.

CrisMarie: It’s true. And it’s so much good bite sized material in these chapters, I mean if I do say so myself. And if you want us to speak at your organization, or work with your team, yes, virtually, we’ve been doing that, team sessions, or coach you or leaders on your team, please reach out to us. You can check us out at our website, that’s or send us an email, write to us directly, we’re happy to chat,, that’s Okay, take care.


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.

Download the eBook, How to Talk About Difficult Topics, today!

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