Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
about How to Resolve Mask Conflicts:
1) Recognize that people have differing views and very strong opinions about the need to wear masks. A lot of these decisions are based on media articles/reports and pseudo science. Alternately, people should be encouraged to read the scientific reviews on sites such as pubmed.gov.
2) Knowing most people won’t do step 1, the next best thing is to enter into dialog with someone based on curiosity rather than demands. Ask questions about the person’s views/beliefs. Seek to understand their perspective. Once you understand where they are coming from, you might find very simple ways to make a request for them to wear a mask around you.
3) You can also ask if they would be willing to hear a request from you. Kindly explain why it would make you feel better if they wore a mask around you. You can explain it doesn’t need to make sense to them, it’s just something that would be wonderful from your perspective. Giving people choices is typically much better received than simply demanding they wear a mask.
4) Avoid accusing people of acting recklessly. When we start attacking one’s character, we are far less likely to get the results we are hoping to achieve.
5) If you are at work or a place of business, consider asking the supervisor to require masks be worn. You can explain your concerns and also should show empathy about the inconvenience of masks. Your goal isn’t to change someone’s mind about whether masks are valid or not, but rather to get them to wear one.
6) If you can control your time around a person who is not wearing a mask, then you can simply tell that person you will not spend time with them until you both feel it is time masks are no longer necessary. In the meantime, consider communicating via Zoom, phone, or even social distanced time together.
Interviews: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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