The Power of Connection for an Improved Safety Culture


Jim Elmer, InTense Facilitator


In John C. Maxwell’s thought-provoking book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” he writes about the powerful difference in our relationships when we truly connect, rather than just communicate with each other.  The same concept is at the core of the InTense “Iceberg Model” used in our impactful Time-Out sessions.  Do we make the time to understand people below the surface, to really connect to their values, fears and aspirations, thereby creating higher trust, a key element of a good safety culture?  With trust comes the confidence and sense of belonging that any individual in an organization can truly live a safety mindset.

In two recent InTense engagements with clients, this important linkage of connection and trust was beautifully exhibited.  Throughout the sessions, people in different departments had gotten to know each other better through small group discussions and the experiential learning activities.  In both instances, an employee was talking about their hesitancy in using a “Time-Out” in a given situation back at the site, for different reasons.  In both cases, a fellow employee in the session said “If you ever get in that situation again, please call me and I will be there to support you.  Don’t feel that you are alone.”  What a sense of relief to someone who may feel uncertain! In both cases, the empathetic fellow employee attentively listened to the underlying emotions of his colleague and recognized their crucial needs. Instead of just “communicating” that it is okay for the colleague to call a Time-Out, they established a more meaningful connection through their response. This also gives permission for the whole team to share openly and offer each other support in the session and back in the workplace.  Creating a network of true connections can bring power to the safety landscape of an organization.

If you reflect on your own organization, do you simply communicate or genuinely connect?  Do you invest the necessary time to understand someone beyond the surface level, and therefore create connection and trust? 

The InTense approach not only helps cultivate a mindset of connection as evident in the theoretical models discussed,  but also indirectly through the creative and engaging experiential learning activities.  With that comes the confidence to challenge and/or promote the desired safety mindset of all.


Join us on this transformative journey where the power of connection fuels an elevated safety culture within your organization.