When the National State of Disaster was declared in March, few, if any, would have expected that in October we would still be navigating our way through the COVID-19 minefield with no set end date or vaccine in place.
Although the lockdown regulations have been relaxed with resultant increases in movement of persons and permitted capacity in venues, it remains mandatory for everyone to continue wearing a mask when in public in order to limit the risk of exposure. With the steady rise in the numbers of infected people, as well as the death rates as seen in the past couple of days, it’s evident that now is not the time for anyone to relax or set aside that mask, despite any discomfort brought on by the continued wearing of such, especially with the rise in temperatures.
Apart from the fact that masks are not the most comfortable piece of clothing, especially when worn for a long time, one cannot dispute the fact that communicating when wearing a mask is not easy, actually its quite often awkward, regardless of whether its face to face or over the phone communication.
Conversing with masks on, may be difficult due to:
Communication is described as “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.” Communication is a crucial aspect of our existence and while some communication faux pas may make for a good laugh the last thing anyone wants is to jeopardise lives or even risk losing our jobs due to incorrect/ineffective communication. When the factors vital to easy flow of conversation are somewhat hindered, communication becomes impaired. No doubt to counter this, you may at a point in time find yourself unintentionally tugging at your mask or even taking it off completely in order to ensure a smoother flow of conversation.
It’s evident that masks are going to be a part of our lives for a long time to come and it is important to use them correctly to ensure that they are effective. In the same way that we have made adjustments to how we communicate by enhancing our written communication as well as adapting to virtual communication platforms through applying accepted etiquette, we need to adapt to and enhance our communication in masks.
information is repeated. Instead of saying “what?” “huh?” “please repeat”; make your query more direct e.g. “Sorry, I didn’t get the amount.”
Mask or no mask we need to keep on communicating, it’s up to us to ensure that the communication is effective at all times.
“Communication- the human connection- is the key to personal and career success” – Paul J. Meyer
This article contains information from an article by Naomi Brick.