Introducing The Relational Link: Leadership in Healthcare Series


The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the many challenges facing our society and our healthcare system. And, recovering and rebuilding after COVID-19 creates a unique opportunity to re-imagine, repair, and re-shape a healthcare system that is not only high quality, but also works for everyone involved — patients and providers alike. Without question, it will take a unified effort to solve the complex problems facing us: health disparities, social injustices, and improvements to healthcare design, delivery, and payment, to name just a few. 

Clinician well-being is another challenge that’s only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Burnout and mental health was a serious concern before COVID, and even more so in its wake. Doing everything possible to help our healers heal has already begun, and in the post-COVID era, this will require a highly coordinated, sustained, and community-wide effort.

How should these efforts begin? By finding common ground — understanding the backgrounds, identities, and experiences that shape us and our colleagues and uncovering the common values and goals we share. Instead of focusing on what divides us, relationship-based strategies can bring us closer together, help us uncover shared values, and begin to unite us around a common vision for making healthcare better. These relational techniques are often overlooked, but when done right serve as essential building blocks to our success tackling complex challenges, navigating uncertainty, and building healthcare back better. They lay the groundwork for how we can coordinate, communicate, and collaborate; not despite our differences, but in recognition of them, to find compromise and consensus for the greater good.

This is why we’ve created the Relational Link, a new series dedicated to lifting up moments large and small that demonstrate the immense value of building strong relationships. By incorporating a variety of concepts, theories, data, and perspectives from relational leaders in the field, we’ll bring context and circumstance to the Relational Leadership skills we teach. The series will demonstrate the “how” and “why” these moments of connection matter, and how transformative, safe, authentic, and trusting relationships can have a big impact.

PCP Founder and Chair Andrew Morris-Singer introduces Relational Link with three core concepts below. Watch each video below, follow the series on YouTube, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Relational Dynamics: The Fundamentals of a Strong Team and Culture
Data suggests individual and team performance in healthcare is highly dependent on the characteristics of our relationships. Focusing on both the technical processes and the relational “team-work” can improve team performance and make employees happier.

Your Role in Creating Psychological Safety and the Signals We Send
Psychological safety was first defined by Amy Edmondson as a shared belief that a team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. These are examples showing how psychological safety can be created and maintained, and why its presence — or absence — makes a difference on healthcare teams.


Finding Common Ground to Catalyze Change: Examples of Relational Leadership in Action
Conversation, negotiation, and compromise all require a relational approach. But how does this work when collaborating at the community, state, or institutional levels? Here’s how Dr. Michael Klinkman in Michigan and Dr. Howard Haft in Maryland used relational techniques to advance health and healthcare reform, and why these techniques are vital to our society right now.

Tony Fontana

Tony comes to PCP after working more than seven years in communications and public affairs in Washington, D.C. As PCP's Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, he leads all strategies to support PCP’s overall mission and values through branding, messaging, and content development.

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