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I’ve been a bit preoccupied the past few weeks, healing from a nasty fall on the dance floor that sent me on my first ambulance ride, a nearly all-night-long visit to the Emergency Room, and a follow-up surgery that yielded permanent “bling” to hold together my right wrist.

With this month’s topic on Connection, I wanted to share my Emergency Room experience with the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. I had the good fortune to have a terrific ER doc—calm, caring, and confident yet unassuming (at least, that is my recollection, which may be foggy, given the narcotics being pumped into my system at the time). X-rays determined that I had dislocated bones in my wrist, which was pretty obvious from the unnatural “S”-shape that my arm had turned into.

As the night wore on, the 5-person ER team discussed how to best manage this “relocation” process. I noticed that the ER doc in charge asked her team what they thought might work best to easily hold my fingers upright for the time it would take to put things back in place. Surprisingly, I was coherent enough at that moment to join the conversation and share with them the concept of “yes-pertise.”

Here’s the back-story on “yes-pertise”: A few days prior to my dance-floor mishap, my coaching colleague Kristy Posocco, who facilitates our MBA career coach program, had shared with me an article on “yes-pertise.” “Yes-perts” have confidence in their own expertise, yet are also open to others’ ideas. This can create magic, with increases in ideas, innovation, collective intelligence, camaraderie, and team trust.

I witnessed my ER doc demonstrating “yes-pertise” in her collaboration with her intern and team. And when I explained the term to the people surrounding my hospital bed, I noticed something change in the room. Prior to this time, the new specialists who had come in for the procedure had not looked me in the eye—they had been quite professional and efficient, but the connection of “human being-to-human being” seemed to be missing.

After the discussion of “yes-pertise,” the energy in the room seemed to shift. The team members were smiling more, we were making direct eye contact, and a lovely connection of common humanity ensued. I felt less scared and a bit less pain as a result. And, a week later, when consulting with the hand specialist about surgery, he commented on the good job that the ER team had done to patch me up. (You can see his handiwork in the accompanying pics!)

So, here’s wishing each of you a year filled with Connection on myriad levels—with colleagues, coworkers, clients, family, friends, grocery store clerks, random strangers, and (not that I’m wishing this on anyone), the occasional medical professional, who isn’t afraid to be a “yes-pert.”

The concepts of Connection and Creation are vital components of The Academies’ coach training programs: Certified MBA / University Career Coach, Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Capacity Growth Coach