Run This World

147 – Conflict is the Key to Happiness with CrisMarie and Susan of Thrive

You’re in a for a treat today! Susan Clarke and CrisMarie Campbell are life and business partners who over time have learned that the secret to healthy relationships is to embrace conflict. Most of us think of conflict as something external, usually related to another person and a difference of opinion or philosophy. But the truth is that conflict often starts within ourselves and dealing with internal conflict must happen first. So all the things we bury or tell ourselves aren’t important will likely rear their heads later in our lives if we don’t face them. Susan and CrisMarie have dedicated their lives to helping people find ways to face their conflicts and step into their greatness.

About the dynamic duo:

  • Susan was given six months to live at age 24 and overcame her illness by taking a proactive approach with her health. She went on to become a facilitator, educator and coach, helping many others become “unstuck” and realize their power.
  • CrisMarie was an Olympic rower who later became a Boeing engineer and a manager at Arthur Anderson. Her secret sauce is unlocking the greatness of teams by taking a relationship approach instead of focusing solely on results.

Today they are business partners who practice what they preach in their personal lives as a couple too. Their recent book “The Beauty of Conflict for Couples: Igniting Passion, Intimacy & Connection in Your Relationship” is a must read for everyone. Even if you’re not currently in a relationship – there is so much to glean from this book that will help you the next time around.

Today we talk about:

  • CrisMarie’s background as an Olympic rower and the difficulty of her transition to the real world
  • Susan’s cancer at 24 and the unearthing of childhood sexual assault that helped her beat her illness
  • Romance: the roles we play in each other’s “movies”
  • Conflict: How running away is easier than addressing the problem
  • How do we manage conflicts on small and large levels
  • Live demo of conflict management: The BRANCH issue!
  • The key to success: Stop talking about “you” and focus on me
  • Vulnerability
  • Intimacy: “into me see” – we’re more afraid of seeing ourselves than others
  • Compromise: why this is a bad word
  • 5-5-5 rule: this is a good one!
  • And so much more



This episode gives you a new tool for your communication toolbox. I encourage you to check out their work and definitely grab a copy of their new book or the original Beauty of Conflict that focuses on leadership and conflict management in your career. For more on Susan and CrisMarie, check out their website, follow them on facebook and instagram and definitely check out their awesome TedX Talk (with over 325,000 views!).