December 9, 2020


Masks and face coverings have become the norm in 2020. While there are definite health advantages to wearing a mask, they do create some negative barriers as well, such as losing conversation cues like facial expressions.

In the latest episode of Light Your Fire: Beyond Burnout, Ali Harris, MS and Sarah Michaels, RN discuss this barrier and how to create a healthy culture while wearing a mask. Here are some of the tips from the episode:

  • Be proactive – In times of crisis, it’s important to communicate early and often. Checking in with coworkers about how they’re doing with specific tasks or even just, in general, will lessen anxiety and open opportunities to connect with others in a world that can feel disconnected.
  • Communicate intentionally – Try to connect weekly, or even daily, with the people around you. We don’t have the convenience of organically striking up a conversation in the breakroom or walking to our coworker’s desk anymore. Picking up the phone and calling or scheduling a lunch date are great ways to reconnect with friends and colleagues!
  • Use multiple mediums of communication – In today’s world, we have access to many mediums of communication. Video calls, phone calls, email, instant messaging, etc. are all ways we can choose to communicate with others. Some people are more visual learners, and some are audio learners, so knowing your audience and how they like to communicate will be key to getting your message across accurately.
  • Create a safe space – This can be difficult to do while wearing a mask, but still possible. Use your words to convey your openness and willingness to talk. Be unjudgemental if someone comes to you wanting to share what’s been going on in their life and their mind.

When wearing a mask, it can be difficult to know how others are feeling. Communicating often, using our words and body language and communicating with multiple channels will help break the communication barrier.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

Weekly Recipe

Skillet Taco Cauliflower Rice

Kinetiq Health

Organizations are in a constant state of change and the Kinetiq Health team supports them every step of the way. A unique formula of people, processes and technologies enables our team to keep an educated eye on the financial and clinical implications of data to move organizations toward improved financial health and employee wellbeing.

Sarah Michaels, RN, CPBS

Authored By

Sarah Michaels, RN, CPBS

VP of Kinetiq Health
Meet Sarah