• Thrive Inc.

The Weight of Gold

In today’s episode, we’re talking about a show we’ve watched recently, The Weight of Gold, which presented the mental health challenges that athletes often face. As many of you will know, CrisMarie was a rower in the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea, and after she found herself heavily relating to the array of issues discussed on the show, we figured it would be a good idea to share how the show has a broader application to general life.

A devastating fact is that a lot of Olympic athletes commit suicide. They are placed under an immense amount of pressure from an early age and don’t want to admit or accept weakness. Due to a range of systemic issues, these people we label as heroes are crumbling on the inside, feeling that they are never good enough and constantly striving for success. These qualities can be transferred to the world of business, where executives demonstrate similar behaviors and possess the belief that failure is catastrophic.

Tune in this week where we’ll have the important discussion of why more must be done to normalize the human experience – the good and the bad – and help people realize they are not alone in how they feel. We’ll discuss why connection is a vital part of humanity and how people can learn to take themselves from a place of self-hate towards a path of self-compassion. Let’s shift that dynamic, feel better about ourselves, and create more of what we want in our world! Remember, you are so much more than your last success!

If you want to make a difference for either yourself and your career, or your team and your organization, be sure to reach out to us and sign up for coaching! We can come and do a book club or simply visit with your team! Don’t worry about physical limitations – we work really well virtually, too!

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?

Listen on Apple Podcast | Stitcher | Spotify

Learn More:

  • Why people bury their feelings.

  • What makes somebody strive for success.

  • Why people are afraid to speak up about mental health issues.

  • How to stop constantly striving for the next big goal.

  • The importance of processing emotions.

  • Why we need to humanize the experience of depression.

  • Why you are good enough just as you are.


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. Hi, I'm CrisMarie.

Susan: And I'm Susan. We run a company called Thrive, and we specialize in conflict resolution, communication and building strong, thriving teams and relationships. Conflict shows up in our lives in so many ways. Most people, unfortunately, are not very good at handling conflict. Most people have never been taught the right tools for dealing with conflict, and then it leads to unnecessary friction, arguments, passive aggressive emails, tears, hurtful comments, stuck-ness, all kinds of things we don't want. We're on a mission to change all of that.

CrisMarie: We've spent the last 20 years teaching our clients how to handle conflict in a whole new way. We're here to show you that conflict doesn't have to be scary and overwhelming. With the right tools, you can turn a moment of conflict into a moment of reinvention. Conflict can pave the way into a beautiful new system at work, a new way of leading your team, a new way of parenting, a new chapter of your marriage where you feel more connected than ever before. Conflict can lead to beautiful things.

Susan: Hello, welcome to our podcast today, the Beauty of Conflict. We are going to be talking about a show we just watched called the Weight of Gold which has to do with the pressure and the life of being an Olympian. And since CrisMarie is an Olympian, it seemed like a good time for me to kind of kick things off, because she’s going to be talking a little bit about the impact of this show for her and sharing a few ways in which we think it has a broader application.

CrisMarie: Yeah, so the Weight of Gold was a project that looks like it was spurred on by Michael Phelps. He’s the most medaled athlete and he’s a swimmer as you probably know. And after the games he really struggled with drunk driving, I think some other…

Susan: I think addictions and depression I’d say is a combination.

CrisMarie: And he went to a treatment center and got healthy, but still struggles with mental health issues. And the show has so many different Olympians on it, skaters, and track, and bobsleighing, and skeleton. I have to admit it was definitely like they were telling my story in a lot of ways. And even today I’m kind of reeling from listening to it, because we just watched it last night. You can find it on Amazon Prime HBO Sports.

Susan: I think part of what motivated him to do it, aside from the fact that there is a significant way in which our culture and our way of life does not make room for loss, in terms of losing at the Olympics, or mental illness, or challenges. And also I think he did it because this is one of the first years ever that they’ve cancelled.

CrisMarie: No, they’ve rescheduled.

Susan: Post scheduled, because they did cancel the Olympics once before back in wartime. But this time they’ve rescheduled it which is, you know, and it kind of came out of what might be going on for the athletes related to that decision.

CrisMarie: Yeah. And I mean the speed skater, Apolo said, “The difference between – in his race, the difference between first and fourth, that was that amount of time.” And he said, “And if you’re first then you’re the hero and you’re revered. If you’re second, you get the silver medal; they know you, that’s great, bronze, not so much. And fourth, they don’t even know who you are, and it’s this much of a difference.”

So those athletes are really all in that high caliber, but it’s so much a lot of Olympic athletes, even though they’ve medaled, even though they’ve been revered, commit suicide.

Susan: I mean there have been a number of them, enough of them that have either contemplated it and they mentioned five or six in recent years who have successfully committed suicide. So we don’t want to make it sound like we have…

CrisMarie: No, a pandemic of suicide. So those are the only ones that actually have gone through it and it’s this – even one, I was in the 1988 games, if you don’t know, I was a rower. I hadn’t been an athlete until I got to college, in six years I made it to the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. The year before, world championships we came from behind to get the silver medal in the world championships, a huge success, it was really exciting, it was a great boat.

In 88 we weren’t a collective team, we didn’t really bond as a team and we were expected to medal, that pressure of coming in because people think you’re going to win. And we came in a heartbreaking sixth. We made it to the final but we came in last in the final and it was devastating. And that team just blew apart, nobody ever spoke to each other again, it was so heartbreaking. And for me and another elite athlete I was talking to, for me it took about 10 years.

I kept trying to fix my back, because I came back from a back injury, kept trying to fix myself and it was about 10 years later where I basically had a nervous breakdown. And found my way to Haven where I started to actually feel my feelings and the grief, nobody taught me how to feel my feelings really growing up. And so, I just channeled it into a singular focus of working hard, making the Olympic team, making the Washington team really.

Susan: You could go to the Olympics. That’s the pinnacle.

CrisMarie: Yeah.

Susan: And what was sort of very clear in the stories from the show then also what I know about your own story is that pressure is mounting from a very early age. It’s not just the Olympic win or loss, it’s kind of like for you in your college career, it was never enough. The national championship wasn’t enough, the…

CrisMarie: Well, even what you said before, it was mounting from I decided how I was going to survive my dysfunctional family was to succeed, because the colonel, my dad liked success. So I really subjugated my feelings, stuffed them down, focused on achieving no matter how hard. And I went from B’s and C’s and I even had a D, to all A’s. I had one B one year and then all A’s thereafter. So that singular focus, drive, achieving was set. You just put rowing in front of me and I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to figure this out.”

Susan: Because I do believe you did talk about playing the flute was competitive as well.

CrisMarie: I did, yes.

Susan: So there is this piece and you could see this showing up even within this show. A lot of them were doing the same thing from the time they were eight years old. But they each were talking about how never really thought they were good enough. They were fighting failure as opposed to seeing their success.

CrisMarie: I really appreciated too, Apolo Ohno said this, he goes, “No, no, I wasn’t like, oh, I’m really great.” He goes, “I was always moving from a fear of failure.” Which was true for me, I was never good enough, even when I won it was like, okay, that’s down the river, I’ve got nothing. I’m always starting from oh my God, am I going to survive? Am I going to stay in? And I’ve got to keep winning. And the pressure to do it more and more, it just mounted because we won two national championships, I was the stroke, I only lost three races in my entire career, one was at the Olympics.

Susan: So the amount of pressure that you, you know, an Olympian goes through, and the idea that you actually become known as the Olympian or I remember when I first was introduced it was the Cris Campbell. So you notice right away, Cris Campbell has become a noun, an object. And in a lot of ways that’s what these other Olympians were talking about, they are an object. They’re an object that is…

CrisMarie: I’m only like, who am I? I’m only as good as my performance and that’s who I am. And that definitely is the vein that I grew up in and then applied to rowing is I’m nobody. It became very clear to set priorities, rowing was number one, school was second, and I mean that was very clear in my head.

Susan: We are talking about this from the Olympics standpoint, and I really appreciated when Michael Phelps said one of the reasons he’s passionate about doing this is that they do have – I mean we think of them as our heroes, Olympians. At the time when they’re at the Olympic Games they did point out that we usually quickly forget them. But the idea being that when they speak up and address something that is not getting addressed, it’s a pretty important thing, whether it’s mental illness, whether it’s the cost of this depression that comes after that.

CrisMarie: And they talk – I mean I thought it was really well done in the documentary, they talked about, you know, you don’t want to admit any weakness. If I hurt my back or whatever, they’d have all sorts of doctors to fix that. But if I said, “Well, gosh, I’m kind of suicidal,” which I was before the games, I didn’t tell anybody that because my competitor who is my teammate could have a leg up on me. Or they’re going to think, well, let’s just discount her, she’s broken.

Susan: Now, obviously we all can kind of get a picture of in sports the desire to win at all cost. I mean I don’t know that I actually ascribe to that belief that it’s worth it no matter what. But I remember you even telling me once that if someone had told you at that time in your life, “This pill will give you the gold.”

CrisMarie: They did a survey of elite athletes training for the Olympics and they said, “Okay, if we could give you a pill and it would guarantee you,” I don’t even know who medaled, “Maybe that you would medal, not even gold, but you’d medal in the Olympic games. But you didn’t know if you were going to live or die afterwards,” 80% of us, including me, I raised, you know, would say, “Yes, give me that pill.”

Because I think we bought into the belief and I can continue to in my life that you know what, if I get to that gold, if I get to that gold, that medal, the Olympics, then I’ll feel, really I think I’m going to be okay, it’s really I think I feel safe and whole. I’ll finally feel okay. And when you get there, even if you win, yes, it feels good but there’s always this like, well, who am I?

Susan: What struck me about the show was it was like they had a vast Michael Phelps who’s the most decorated Olympian there is. And yet he was going through the exact same process as someone who had the most humiliating moment of their – Lolo Jones who was the hurdler who only one time in her career.

CrisMarie: Three, she had three.

Susan: Three times, ever even touched a hurdle at practice or anything.

CrisMarie: And she hit it with her foot when she jumped.

Susan: But she hit it at that Olympic stage and that’s what got the murmur.

CrisMarie: I loved when she said, “It’s like as if you got a divorce and everywhere you went people would go, “Oh that must be hard that you got a divorce.”” She could not hide because it was so public. And that’s a little different than me as a rower because they’re single, there’s so much pressure with the one athlete versus I’m in a boat of eight other women.

Susan: Well, but and yet you go through the exact same thing. I know you blamed yourself for that Olympic experience. There might be a touch of arrogance to that.

CrisMarie: I did, I walked away thinking, well, I was injured so it must have been my fault. Yeah, and for 10 years I blamed myself, probably a little bit more until I really got, you know, every time he tested me, I made that boat go faster. I now have perspective on it and I can see, but at the time – and I think that’s kind of the psyche of an Olympic athlete, they’re always like, “Okay, I have got to do this. I have got to overcome, push harder, faster, it’s mine to control.”

Susan: Now, I think that’s the heartbeat, the mind of an Olympic athlete. I also think it’s a systemic issue. Our culture, let’s go outside of the individual Olympian because though there are a few of them, there are not as many of them as there are people in general. And we have whole systems that are built around single point victories. Focus on, it’s all about winning, it’s about getting the right answer, it’s about climbing the corporate ladder. It’s about doing that next big event.

And we struggle as a culture in knowing how to take away the individual or one team, you know, this is the successful one. And seeing what is the value in a much more diversified person.

CrisMarie: It’s true, I mean I was coaching, I’ve coached executives through the years, let’s say they have hit a loss, and that’s one of the areas of my expertise, how do you recover from a loss. But when they’re in it it’s like oh my God, I feel so humiliated. As if there’s a whole stadium, this is a whole stadium in my life that’s looking at me saying, “Shame, for shame.” And so they can’t see, one, they can’t even see their options or recognize, hey, you can recover from this, nobody died usually.

Hopefully they can just – it’s important to process through those emotions so they can start to see, hey, wait a minute, I could go take another job in this company. I could go take a job in another company. I could change careers. There’s so many options, but we get so narrow in, no, this is my definition of who I am.

Susan: We talked a couple of podcasts back and I suggest you go listen again to it, about this idea that we tend to only as leaders be satisfied with tolerable or acceptable is good enough for yourself and for your people.

CrisMarie: You mean tolerating the stress and you’re really kind of more in a fight, flight or freeze but you’re tolerating that.

Susan: Versus this idea that you could actually turn fight, flight or freeze into a – if it’s relational, it could become something that could actually lead to enjoyment if you can pay attention to that relational holistic perspective. And that is very hard for us to grasp.

CrisMarie: Yeah, and I just have to put in for – as I was rowing, it started out really enjoyable and I really loved it, which created a lot of my success. But then the pressure to perform, to win, to win, to win, and then it became, I was definitely tolerating it. And when we lost, somebody’s like, “Are you going to hangout for four more years?” And it’s like, oh my God; I don’t want to tolerate the intolerable. Now, I know I took it back to the Olympics but I think that’s…

Susan: If I don’t know if I get any stage [crosstalk] but it’s good, no, it’s good, you are.

CrisMarie: I do think executives miss that and go, “No, I’ve got to hang into this.” Let’s say they’re working at a hard culture it’s mean, it’s not very humanizing. They’re like, “That’s what I have to do.” Versus, whoa, there’s a lot of other options and you might be happier, more successful, maybe you won’t make as much, maybe you will make more.

Susan: It’s kind of tricky because it’s so hard, there’s always this competing force of where do I need to be the best and live up to my fullest potential of who I am? And if you’re within an organization, or a business, or a country, where might you give up your own sense of value, your own sense of worth for some bigger cause?

CrisMarie: It was ingrained in me from childhood on. How you feel doesn’t matter CrisMarie, you need to produce results. And it’s so backwards from what is really healthy. Actually when I listen to how I feel what I am wanting, I go towards and create more exciting, more resilient.

Susan: And just the other day I was talking to a client, actually as part of a team experience. And right away this person was talking about their own issues with addiction and some things they were – and I was – one, I wanted to really give him kudos for bringing it up and talking about it. And then I wanted to go back and say, “You did that. Now, how can we support you?” And I could see the discomfort of, “I’m good, I’ve got this covered.” And it’s like that’s, you know, you do have it covered.

This isn’t about there being anything wrong with you, this is just you’ve given us a lens to connect to you. How can we have the sense of connection in this? Not because there is a problem, not because you’re weak, not because you can’t do it. But because there is a place where there is an opportunity. And so often we miss that, we don’t talk about the pain someone might be in.

CrisMarie: We had sport psychologists, we had performance coaches, none of them cared really about how I felt, my whole humanness. They’re like, “What do you need to do to put that away so you can focus and perform?”

Susan: I appreciate you did share and you shared this on the stage a few times, that there was one physical therapist who gave you the book and said, “Look, we can work on your body but we can’t do anything about your head.” Now, I appreciated that she at least said, “This is not what we are going to cover.”

CrisMarie: Well, yeah, so as a physical therapist, when I had my back injury and I was actually suicidal and had a black cloud over my head and then came in. Because I just think there was no way I was going to come back, this was about four months before the games. She was, thank goodness, she did give me The Mental Athlete book and said, “We can fix your body but we can’t fix what’s going on between your ears, and only you can do that.”

Susan: I’m going to take it back out of the Olympics. We may go back there again. But it reminds me of a moment, another moment in my career where I had actually gone as a mental health therapist, and I’d gone to the movies, Saving Private Ryan, which is a movie about wartime.

And I was sitting in a very small theater and I was watching these two very much older men, clearly of the age frame where they could have been in this movie. And I watched their physical bodies as they watched this movie, tighten and become rigid, and as a mental health therapist I’m watching him going, this is having a big impact.

And I remember walking out of the movie and I was going to my car and I passed by, I was going by one car and there was one of the men sobbing, clearly distressed. I knocked on his window and I said, “Look, there’s a guy two cars back. And I would really encourage you just to go knock on his window.” And the next, you know, and I said, “Because I think you two, you don’t need to talk about it. But there’s something that’s important for you to share about this moment.”

And so he did and they were both sitting not too long, as I drove away myself, they were sitting in the car together and I remembered thinking – and I mean I’m sure they weren’t telling horror stories. They were being in the feeling and the depth of the emotion they had together. They didn’t have to tell their story, which sometimes is kind of nice. But to know that somebody can relate and connect, I think that’s why you wanted to watch this movie about the Olympics, because you’re not alone.

CrisMarie: No. And I kind of want to send it to my Olympian friends.

Susan: Yeah, I can see, it brings back feeling, because these are the things you guys don’t talk about when you’re in the sport, in the game, in the moment. And we don’t talk about it in business and we don’t talk about it, but we need to because it’s a part of our humanity.

CrisMarie: I mean the story – one of the gentlemen that was in the movie we thought he was still alive, he had committed suicide. And he had reached out and the guy did the best he could, another teammate but it was one conversation and it was a little bit, and it was kind of like, “You’re good, you’re successful, you look good.” And I think that’s what’s so hard is here are these Olympians, me one, maybe life looks really good for you and you’re struggling, you’re searching for a sense of identity and who am I, and gosh, is my performance the only thing?

Susan: And until we can normalize all of the human experience, which means yeah, great, glorify the successes, remember, I wrote a line in a poem once about this. You can die a hero in isolation or you can let your experiences breathe, bleed and share them out in the world, which isn’t going to make you glorified, but is going to make you human. And that’s what’s going to give you the connection.

CrisMarie: It will, because I think so many of us, no matter what, you don’t have to be an Olympian, or even a high executive in business to have times where you’re depressed and is this all there is, that’s kind of like, really, is this my purpose? This doesn’t feel good. And to actually learn how to process through that and talk through it is really a way to come home and start making your decisions from the inside out. And that may not make sense, but it’s the shift that I made that created such a different life for me.

Susan: And I think that a key part of the shift is I do believe therapy is one path for doing it. And a lot of times it’s the only one, if people can get to it, it’s great. But we actually have to humanize the experience of depression and not just tell someone to go talk to a therapist. Because you know why someone says that? It’s because they’re terrified, I don’t know what to do for you. I remember, when I was dealing with kids, people were afraid of me because it’s like it’s death. People would distance, talk to a therapist.

CrisMarie: Go talk to a therapist.

Susan: And you know what, you don’t necessarily need someone to do something to fix it. It helps if you just have someone who can listen and go, “Wow, that is a lot on your shoulders.” I can’t take it away but I can say, “I’m here beside you because it’s human that you would find this painful and hard.”

CrisMarie: And I think what you’re providing is a container and compassion. And so often we come into this world and we have some sort of essence inside of us, our soul, our authentic self. And we start learning, that doesn’t fit my family or whatever. So I’m going to strive to be some sort of ideal, I’m going to be the ideal daughter, the ideal student, the ideal rower.

Susan: The ideal Olympian, the ideal consultant, it goes on and on.

CrisMarie: Yes, and that’s really hard work and striving. And then I try and I fail, I don’t hit the mark, and I’m just me and I think, well, that’s not good enough so I generate this self-hate. There’s a sense of internal knowing, I’m not really my authentic self, nor can I make this ideal.

Susan: There is this anxiety that gets created between knowing you’ve given something up, which you don’t even remember what it was.

CrisMarie: You don’t even know what it is.

Susan: And that you can’t hit the mark, or if you do, you’ve got to do it again. And then that’s so uncomfortable that you do things like addictions, depression, anxiety, these are all symptoms of what we refer to as self-hate. And it’s a pattern that we reward in our culture.

CrisMarie: Oh my gosh, Olympians they’re – I mean I kind of want to share this model with the Olympians, I certain share it with the executives because those patterns, the addictions are not solving the self-hate. What happens is there is another path.

Susan: Yeah, and the path of self-compassion which involves sort of finding a way to realize that you’re good enough, you have…

CrisMarie: Just the way you are, even if I lost at the Olympics, I am still good enough which is…

Susan: And this is the experience someone might have when they find that perfect therapist or someone who really listens to them.

CrisMarie: Or a coach.

Susan: They take a breath and they acknowledge it, they become aware and then they actually acknowledge it out loud. And when that occurs in the presence of somebody who can hold, not fix, but hold for them, they have some sense of acceptance. And then there’s an opportunity for them to make a different action and maybe even have some appreciation.

CrisMarie: That’s where the whole idea of well, maybe I could get – if it’s a business executive who’s failed, well, maybe I could actually look at a whole different career. Maybe I could go to a small startup and be the big fish in the small pond, or do something different, or go back to school, any of those things start to percolate. But only when you get out of that self-hating cycle and that self-compassion gives you a sense of space, and I am human.

Susan: You can even laugh at yourself. And the key is, because what can happen is you can glorify self-compassion. And then you actually are seeking that sense of like I love myself, and I’m going to go to my authentic self and that’s going to be bliss. It doesn’t work like that. We are all of these things. You’re going to go back on the self-hate cycle.

CrisMarie: I mean it still happens to me, whenever we – so we have two books, each time we publish a book I think, okay, this is it, we’re going to be the New York Times bestseller. And we do it and it’s not that and then I’m like, one, I lose the sense of…

Susan: Or even if we do make the number one bestseller on Amazon, which we did, that was – no, no, no.

CrisMarie: I forgot that though. So I forgot it, it’s got to be better, bigger, better, more and more. And companies do this; human beings do this so it’s going to happen. And the idea is what Susan was saying, like breathing and becoming aware, there I am again. I’m thinking I’m not okay until I get over there, because that’s the belief with the striving model is I am – well, at least in my world, I am not okay until I lose weight, get the New York Times bestseller, get the Olympic gold, whatever.

Get out of debt, lose weight, you fill in the blank and that’s – as soon as I get that then I’m going to feel whole and complete and good, but it doesn’t happen. There’s like there’s this momentary, yay, I made my goal and then there’s another goal.

Susan: And if you’re not the person who kind of keeps seeking that next goal you may also be the person who gives up on it and sort of doesn’t even go for it, which there is that place where that’s where the desire to want something and strive for something is not a horrible thing. And so we’re talking about a lot of pieces here. And the Olympic gene is the one that gets you to always going towards self-hate.

Or you executives listening to this, if you’re always striving for that big bonus and it’s never, you know, you didn’t get as much as you thought you should, so you’re not good enough, that is self-hate. You might want to look at what could I do differently to get myself out of this cycle.

CrisMarie: Of if you are struggling with depression or anxiety, even suicidal ideation, you might want to look at how am I telling myself I am not okay just the way I am? Because you probably have some sort of critic inside that’s beating you up. And there is a way to shift that internal dynamic to actually develop kind of a part of you that actually really accepts just who you are. And that may seem like what’s the big deal about that? It changes the game. It changes everything and creates more life and vitality.

Susan: Yeah. So we wanted to talk about this because we found it really valuable to watch the show. I get to live with an Olympian, so I’m constantly tested to strive for the best and we hope you’ll listen to this. And if these are things you can relate to and you recognize some of it in yourself, reach out, find that coach, that person, reach out to us, who can help you find a space where you can begin to navigate that you are okay where you are.

CrisMarie: That’s if you’re, like if you’re struggling to lose weight, or you’re struggling from a failure, or you’ve been re-org’d, or you lost your job, we can help you individually as coaches, that’s what we do. And you can even from that place, no matter where you are, you can shift that dynamic and feel better about yourself, and create more of what you want in your world.

Susan: Okay, so that’s it for today, thanks for joining us and we are trying – if you’re watching the video let us know what you think. And if you’re listening on our podcast channel, give us a good review. Alright, take care.

CrisMarie: And you can find the video on YouTube if you’re listening to the audio, you can find it on our YouTube channel.

Susan: Okay, alright.

If you want to learn more about what we discussed today, or how to deal with conflict more effectively, Susan and myself, CrisMarie are both available for individual one-on-one coaching. We also offer couples coaching, which now as we live and work 24/7 together, may be more important than ever.

Susan: We continue to do our team facilitation, both live and now virtually. Let’s get real, until you’ve had a tough conversation over Zoom, you may not be building the trust you need on your team. For the next couple of months we are offering free virtual trainings to organizations. Our goal is to support you, your team and your business, both at work and at home during this pandemic.

CrisMarie: Right now you can find short videos on my, CrisMarie’s LinkedIn and Facebook with tips, tools and inspiration. To contact us, email thrive@thriveinc.com, that’s t.h.r.i.v.e@t.h.r.i.v.e.i.n.c.com.

Susan: Okay, stay safe, stay healthy and remember, together we’re better and stronger.

CrisMarie: 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.

Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn.

Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It!

Order their new book The Beauty of Conflict for Couples: Igniting Passion, Intimacy, and Connection in Your Relationship.

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