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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Choose optimism: Optimists are resilient leaders

October 8, 2020... We're going to be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. 

pnw optimist clubs communication

Communication is more difficult when we are wearing a mask because the mask hides our facial expressions. How do we convey friendliness and sincerity when our smiles are hidden behind cloth? How do we build rapport, indicate confusion, or convey good - or bad - intentions when nonverbal cues are not visible? 

Because Optimists are resilient, we have some mask-wearing communication tips to share: 

1) Use your mask voice. We mentioned that cloth is covering your smile and it is also muffling your voice. Individuals must speak louder than they normally would just to be heard. They must use different inflections to convey emotions including, but not limited to delight, confusion, and agreement. 

2) Be an active listener. When mouths are hidden, speakers can't tell if their audience is listening. It's up to the listener to nod and give verbal cues, like "Mm-hmm," or "Go on," to their partners and teammates. 

3) Smile anyway. The act of smiling can be seen in your eyes and that will convey sincerity and friendliness. Practice smiling with your eyes so the crinkling feels more natural. 

While wearing a mask may make us feel closed off, adding these communication tips will help both speakers and listeners be more open, available, and communicative. 

Choose optimism: Optimists are resilient leaders and know how to communicate.

Reference: "How to build rapport while wearing a mask, " by Dustin York

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