In the Spotlight: Lesley Wilson on Connection

Associate Chief Experience Officer at UC San Diego Health

What does the principle of Connection mean to you and your organization?

Lesley Wilson (LW): Connecting is one of our four foundational Experience Intentions at UC San Diego Health. We use the notion of Connecting as ‘Being a bridge’ in our theme and declaration. When we explain and explore this concept with our teams, it’s not only about human Connections with one another, but it’s also about how we show up and Connect with our patients and guests as well as Connecting to the purpose of the work we are doing. And it always includes empathy and hospitality throughout. Hospitality lives in Connecting.

How do you apply the principle?

LW: We create actionable and tangible ways to bring Connecting to life throughout our organization.  From finding new ways to Connect during rounding, to revisiting our communication framework, to exploring how to best Connect through our email communications we seek to create bridges. We also focus on “Big E Experience” – everyone’s Experience matters – and we have created Joy Events within our Connecting Intention that encourage our team members to interact with one another in thoughtful creative ways.    

We have also created a forum for monthly Experience leadership sessions where we invite leaders to come together in person, despite all the latest technologies available, because we are committed to the human interaction. We value seeing each other and having face-to-face conversations. We focus on topics such as hospitality, partnership, and fostering trust – and we practice techniques like the improv tool ‘Yes, And…’ all with the aim to create a shared understanding. Because once we have a shared understanding, we can bridge to what’s possible.

What advice do you have for other Lab Partners?

LW: We are still so early in this journey. I think we are very often eager for the next tools or tactics, and yet what we really need is teaching, sharing and discovering WHY this work is so important. You can ask someone to be a Connector but it has to tap into a deep human level, that raw emotion and feeling, to make a Connection. Rather than train, let’s aim to inspire people to want to make that Connection – to want to LOOK up and smile – and take the opportunity to be the bridge for others.