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You’re Wearing a Mask, But What About Communicating? Some Tips

April 29, 2020

As wearing face masks becomes the new normal, not only for healthcare workers but for everyone else navigating life, it’s important to communicate effectively while wearing one.

Paulette Schwartz, Director of Human Centered Care for Hartford HealthCare Community Network, and LeaAnn Blanchard, Executive Director of The Orchards at Southington, know that “how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate” and offer some tips and ideas to ensure you “get your emotion through your mask.”

Body language is vital to best deliver meaning and effectively communicate.

  • Body language, hand gestures and posture are most important. Your non-verbal cues should send message of kindness and empathy.
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Try not to cross your arms in front of your body
  • Try to keep your hands off your hips and out of your pockets
  • Nod when appropriate to acknowledge you are listening and understanding
  • Use your eyes and eyebrows. Good eye contact is most important. Let your eyebrows tell the story.
  • Happiness can be seen by raised eyebrows, raised cheeks and crow’s feet
  • Eyebrows pinched together and eyes drooping can indicate sadness
  • Eyebrows in a “V” can mean angry

Tone of voice is key.

  • Your tone of voice includes your speed, tempo and pitch which can be equally as impactful as the words you are speaking.
  • As things are busy and stressful, try not to let that be reflective in your voice. Be straightforward and try to stay calm.

Create a safe space.

  • Maintain your social distancing with a clear path.
  • Make sure to remove any physical barriers that could block your view or further challenge your voice being heard behind the mask.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Need to see your doctor? New Patient? For more information about Hartford HealthCare virtual health visits, click here.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

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