Five Ways To Have Compassionate Covid Conversations

Have you struggled to have compassionate conversations about Covid? Are you torn between what you think/feel/believe is the right thing to do, and the nuances of a particular situation? Have you tried to have a conversation and it only made things worse? Or, did you stay silent when you really should have spoken up? Have these conversations strained relationships?

Two of my children have had to quarantine in the last month because they were potentially exposed to Covid. Our team at Next Element has agreed not to meet in person until further notice. My mother and father in-law, both of whom are in a high-risk category, are basically confined to their houses. I have friends who have a very different perspective on Covid precautions than I do, and yet we both want to get together. I have clients who would prefer in-person training but also respect the need to be safe.

Each of these situations has required difficult conversations where there’s no bright side or convenient win-win solution. It’s just hard.

Without going into detail about the science behind it, here are five examples of how to use our formula for compassionate conflict to talk about Covid. The goal is to engage conflict productively while preserving the dignity of all involved.

I feel uncomfortable meeting in person. I am really trying hard to stay healthy so I don’t expose my mother and father in-law. If we can find a solution that adheres to the current safety guidelines, I’m willing to do live in-person training. I am committed to delivering the best services possible while adhering to my standards for safety. How do you feel about that?

I feel scared for your safety. When you arrived at the reception and everyone was inside and not wearing masks, you made a choice to go inside. Can we problem-solve how you will handle situations like this in the future? We require that you avoid going, or mask up in social situations like this. How are you feeling about what happened?

I am confused about something. I noticed that none of your service staff are wearing masks, while most other businesses make it mandatory. Will you help me understand? It’s important for me to feel safe where I shop. I really enjoy shopping here.

I’m torn because I want to hang out and we have different views on Covid safety precautions. Any ideas how we might be able to work this out? I respect your views and need to adhere to my own standards if we get together. I care about you. 

I feel uncomfortable about going out. We are going to be around a lot of people and I want to stay safe. I’m willing to go if we agree to stay outside and keep our distance. How does that sound to you? 

The problem isn’t going away any time soon, but in the mean time at least we can practice compassionate accountability.

Learn the method behind these examples in our 1-hour virtual course, Conflict and You: The Basics of Compassionate Accountability. 

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
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