Today, I learnt something that I took for granted.

In a new place, it is hard to put a face to a voice with face masks. To build trust, people want to see the face of the voice they are to follow.

I was advised to use a transparent faceshield (instead of a nose mask) and maintain social distance to do my first meet and greet. It was uncomfortable, considering face shields offer no protection from an aerosol virus, but it was reassuring that there were no new covid-19 cases in the last 2 months.

I had grown so accustomed to wearing masks that I assumed people recognise me with my mask. But that is in a space where I was known before the mask. In a new space, the mask limits connection.

In life, metaphorically speaking, there are people that knew us before the masks we had to wear to survive in the world. So in spite of our masks, they trust us.
But for many others, they meet us with the masks, and struggle to connect. We need to be conscious of this and lower our masks to truly connect. The removal of your mask makes you vulnerable, but it is through vulnerability that trust is built.

I am thankful for serendipitous learning.

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