Connecting With Your Patients, Team, and Everyone in Between

March 23, 2010
To build a trusting relationship, you must focus on the person you are trying to make a connection with, says Karen Cortell Reisman. See what she means when she says, “Don’t block the light!”

by Karen Cortell Reisman, MS

“Don’t block the light,” said the social worker at our training session for volunteer visits to hospital patients.“What does that mean?” I asked. He responded, “We block the light when ...
  • We interrupt.
  • We don’t listen.
  • We’re quick to talk about solutions, to fix it.
  • We ask more than one question at a time.
  • We ask a question and then answer it too.
  • We tell our story instead of listening to theirs.
  • We’re not present.
  • We open our mouths, because there are times we don’t need to say anything at all.”
What does this have to do with you?When you connect, you begin to build a relationship, which can grow into a trusted relationship. People become friends with and conduct business with people they know, like, and trust. We stop that connection, or block the light, when ...
  • We multi-task.
  • We read our smart phones during a conversation.
  • We tap away on our computers while talking on the phone.
  • We talk or text on our cell phones during a lunch with someone else
Ask yourself how you might be blocking the light — with those you meet for the first time and with those you already know.Whether you’re visiting someone who is ill, you’re at a party, or you’re doing business in person or on the phone, you want to connect.Your " building a better you challenge" is to stay connected with others. Do not block the light!© Karen Cortell Reisman, MS

Karen Cortell Reisman is theauthor of two books. She speaks about Einstein, her cousin, in a one-woman show, "Letters From Einstein," intertwining personal letters from Einstein into a message about hope, resilience, and brassieres. She also addresses how to Speak For Yourself® so others will listen and trust you.

To buy Karen’s books. purchase other learning tools and read her blogs, go to