How to Ask a Colleague to Wear a Mask
As the effects of the pandemic continue to have devastating effects on our day-to-day activities, it is essential to embrace the measures set aside by doctors to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. These measures include wearing a mask when going outside the house and sanitizing your hands frequently with an alcohol-based sanitizer. As more people get back to their businesses, many fear the uncomfortable likelihood of asking a colleague to mask up at work or any other place. The article covers how to kindly ask your colleague to wear a mask without sounding skeptical and rude.
Dr. Jordan Sudberg, the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Spine and Rehabilitation, offers the following suggestions on how to go about this tricky request more effectively. The specialist suggests that one should have a script of the words to use. In most cases, the problematic part that makes it hard to utter words is that we are not organized and spend much time searching for the word to use. Before you find the correct words to use, the situation has already become tense, leaving you with no option but to keep quiet. Hence, it is crucial to decide what words to use to avoid such a scenario in advance.
Sudberg emphasizes using some face-saving phrases when speaking about the issue with your colleague. Usually, you want to utter words that will refrain from any form of judgment and prejudice to the other person for not wearing a mask. This can be achieved by blaming changing policies or turning the situation to make it about you. This way, the subject would feel pressured about the whole situation and is more likely to comply.
Another effective way to tackle the situation is by emphasizing what you can control when in a difficult situation, it is vital to control your actions and responses. Trying to control another person’s actions may prove complicated, and in this case, getting upset because of another person who does not wear a mask won’t serve you. When you spot a colleague not wearing a mask, instead of getting angry, take some deep breaths and ask yourself what you can do to keep you and your family protected. Our most incredible power lies in knowing that we can easily control our response rather than controlling other people’s actions and potential responses.
While your script should let the subject save face, it must be straightforward. Typically, it is very uncomfortable to confront a person on such an issue; thus, our goal should be only to hint at what we want them to do. However, experts say that going direct to the point is more effective than going indirectly in securing someone’s compliance. It is harder for a person to refuse a direct request made to them than to pretend they didn’t understand what was being asked of them. Dr. Jordan Sudberg believes that the transition period we’re intends to be endlessly changing; thus, it will require us to put more practice on new ways of mask etiquette that meets the expectations while preserving the face for all parties involved.