Gain trust through first impressions

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Tip of the month

Gain trust through first impressions

All too often, nurse managers preparing for their new role feel as if they have to hit the ground running. Although there might be pressing issues awaiting your attention, it is important to recognize the urgency of building trust with staff members during your first days in office.

You might already be aware of your formal assessment process, but remember that the people with whom you work are also assessing you. They will be assessing how well you listen to them, what your follow-up history is like, and what really matters to you.

This does not mean you need to do everything perfectly; it means you need to be consistent with what you say and do. In other words:

  • If you say you value everyone on the team, the team needs to see you meeting with staff members on the off-shifts and being on time for meetings
  • If you say you want staff members to be involved in decisions, they need to see you delegating appropriately
  • If you tell staff members you value quality patient care and customer service, they need to see you in patients’ rooms, answering call lights, and assisting staff members in dealing with upset families


This excerpt is adapted from HCPro’s book Core Skills for Nurse Managers: A Training Toolkit, by Shelley Cohen, RN, BS, CEN. Visit for more information or to order a copy.