Fostering Connection with Intention: an integral part of our person-centered culture.


I was recently in a team meeting when we were asked what we yearn for. I sat silently, a little bewildered by the question, as it caught me off guard. I was in “meeting mode,” ready to achieve our intended outcomes and determine the next steps. New to the team, I am still learning to speak to my emotions and needs, and in my 38 years, I don’t know if I have intentionally thought about what I yearn for. It is a powerful question, one that I did not take lightly. As I looked around the room, we were each deep in thought, consciously creating space and allowing silence to think deeply about the question. Each team member began to answer, allowing themselves to be vulnerable and authentically speaking to their wants and needs. As I listened, my admiration for each team member grew, and I gained a new sense of belonging as I quickly discovered what I was yearning for was the connection. In their own words, many teammates spoke about the importance of relationships. All acknowledged that we are each responsible for fostering and creating space for connection.


As I reflect on the team meeting and what the contributing factors were that created an environment that fostered such connection. It became clear that each of us played a crucial role. It was not only the facilitator who asked a meaningful question and created the time and space for thoughtful conversation, but we (the team) were also responsible for creating the environment. Every team member was responsible for bringing their whole self to work, listening deeply, and being honest with each other. We all played an essential role that not only made an impact for me but the entire team.


The need for connection and belonging is essential for every human being. What Mary Beth (the facilitator) did was not difficult nor time-consuming, but it was intentional. It was a deliberate approach to embed person-centered practices and compassion at work into the HSA Culture, prioritizing people. For that, I am grateful and can attest to the positive impact it can make in a person’s life. 


As our community leans into person-centered practices, look for those opportunities where small actions can create connections and keep us moving forward. We can all take responsibility for how we show up, create space for each other and embrace the opportunity to make a difference!