How is one to one communication being affected in the age of COVID?
Communication it’s not a science. When one person talks to 10 people, each one of those people probably has a slightly different understanding of what they have heard. Why is this?
Firstly they hear the words in the context of their own values and feelings. Secondly they hear the words but with different emphasis. And thirdly we know that the non-verbal part of communication is about 60% so they interpret the words with the additional non-verbal messages they receive from the speaker.
These are varied, examples are the way the person’s face moves, are they smiling, are they looking serious or are they looking doubtful? Add to that the way a person stands and the movement, often of the hands which often emphasise a particular point.
But what happens when you cover the face up? How can only the eyes communicate in the same way as the whole of the face? So when we wear a mask we have an additional challenge.
In some way we need to compensate for the communication that is lost behind the mask. So when we talk we need to be very sure that we are compensating for this lost element of communication. How do we do this? It’s not that simple. Each person will find a way to compensate which sits comfortably with their personality but above all we may need to choose our words more clearly and clarify that the person we are talking to understands what we are trying to communicate.
It’s also important for us all to understand this not only applies when we are talking to people but when people are talking to us we are careful to look for those non-verbal signs and perhaps clarify more our understanding of the conversation.
- Masks: Pixabay