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AORN Blog - The Periop Life

2 Ways to Create Connection and Build Trust

A Conversation with Colette Carlson


2 Ways to Create Connection and Build Trust

February 17, 2019   

“Connection is the glue that keeps relationships, projects, and surgical teams together—and it starts by connecting within,” states Colette Carlson, who will be the keynote speaker at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2019.

Whether you’re a frontline nurse or a nurse executive, your greatest competitive advantage is your ability to connect with people, especially given the level of technology in today’s world. Improving surgical team communication starts by connecting within first.

When you immediately put someone at ease, you create a level of trust that allows your message to be heard over the noise, distractions, or emotional fears. Learning how to build trust between team members is an important goal for surgical teams.

The power of human connection is like musical harmony, which happens when simultaneously occurring frequencies, pitches, or chords blend together to create a powerful, beautiful sound.

When people come together and share an emotional space, rapport, and conversation, they can create a powerful moment that can become an outstanding collaboration—all performed without discord.

Finding Connection Within

You can’t make these important connections with others until you learn how to connect within.

After all, if you’re not in touch with yourself and able to understand your own drivers and emotions, how can you understand others? Without making time to connect with self, how can you nurture your own needs and choose the self-care required to serve others fully?

To foster your connection within, try these two beneficial practices.

1. Awaken Your Awareness

With the fast pace of healthcare, perioperative nurses rarely get the chance to self-reflect to gain self-awareness. So, it’s vital to pause and ask yourself: How do I come across to others, especially when I’m under pressure? What practices can I put in place when in a high-pressure situation to remain calm and focused?

2. Lead with Warmth, Which Establishes Trust

Too often we lead with our competence, strengths and smarts given the nature of the situation, but this only sets up the possibility of a disconnect.

With your inner connection skills developed, you are ready to work on connecting with others. Start by being consistently direct with respect. Knowing how to have an assertive, calm conversation when the stakes are high reduces conflict, stress and pressure.

Colette Carlson will be sharing more strategies for human connection during the Opening General Session on Saturday, April 6 at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo.

Colette Carlson is an author, human behavior expert, and connection catalyst.