It’s that time of the year; back to school and back to work, but certainly not back to normality. Amidst the pandemic, equipped with masks and hand sanitizers, Canadians are getting back to their post-vacation routines and are looking for solutions to some of the stickiest situations. On September 2nd, 2020 during my CTV Your Morning Etiquette segment with Anne-Marie Mediwake I offer solutions to the season’s stickiest situations.
Watch and read below.
You want to send your children to school; your in-laws disagree.
- Consider that this conversation could solely be between the spouse and his parents.
- Start with appreciation of the concern they (in-laws) have for your children.
- Continue by stating that you and your spouse carefully researched the pros and cons.
- Conclude by stating that you have decided that the children being in school is best for them and your family.
Your child is invited to a classmate for a play date. You want to know what pandemic precautions are in place.
- This is a telephone, one on one, conversation. It is not a text nor a discussion in front of children. “We are gradually growing our bubble and are carefully considering all of our family’s invitations. Can you please let me know what you have planned?”
- Based on what you hear decide or state that you will discuss with your spouse and get back to the person.
- Declining, “Thank you for the invitation but we are not yet ready to grow our bubble yet.”
- Or suggest an outdoor or virtual activity get where you are also present.
When dropping off your child at daycare you see two caregivers chatting, without masks, at less than two metres apart.
- As difficult as it is, do not go directly to the workers and do not take pictures as evidence.
- Speak to the person in authority. Trust them and their process.
- Document your intervention with the date.
- If it happens again, you will have a trace.
When picking up your child, you see two children hugging.
- Here too, you do not discipline the children directly.
- Follow with the above recommendations
When returning to work you find out that a colleague’s parent passed away from COVID-19.
- If you are informed by the colleague in person: offer your condolences. Ask how they are. Take the time to listen.
- If you are close to the person and are amongst the first to find out, you could offer to inform the rest of the team members, by writing an email or making calls, plus you could arrange for a group donation or flowers, depending on your team’s customs.
- If you find out from another colleague; depending on your relationship with that colleague, you could call, email, send flowers or a card. “I am saddened to hear about the loss of your parent…”
A client wants to meet in person and your employer forbids it.
- State your desire to soon meet again “I too am looking forward to meeting you again soon”.
- State your employer’s policy, “For the time being, our company if firm that we cannot visit or host clients”.
- If allowed suggest a patio coffee.
- If not, propose a virtual meeting.
A colleague constantly takes off his mask and the office guidelines include wearing it at all times.
- The solution depends on if you are “friend or foe”.
- If foe, confide your observations to HR.
- If friend: Start with an empathetic perspective: “I know it’s’ hard to wear a mask all the time.” Wait and listen to what your colleague says. He or she may reference a condition or other. In which case, you now have an explanation for his non-compliance. If not “I care about you and would not want, you to be pointed at for not following the rules. I encourage you to wear you mask all the time. That way you cannot be blamed or gossiped about.”
After an outdoor patio business meeting with a supplier; he concludes the meeting by reaching out for a handshake.
- Give the other the automatic professional intention of a pre-COVID homosapien who for a moment forgot the pandemic.
- Stepping backwards to two metres of distance “Oh, I would love to shake your hand, but we are still practising pandemic precautions”. Place your right hand on your heart, do a mini head bow or a namaste, before you walk away “Take care”.