Body Language Rules When You’re Wearing a Mask

Dated: December 26 2020

Views: 38

In an industry that relies on human contact, masks conceal expressions, muffle speech and create misunderstandings. But people can read a smile through your eyes.

NEW YORK – It’s harder to show your personality when 50% of your face can’t be seen. Masks can conceal your expressions, muffle your speech, and create misunderstandings between you and those you’re talking to.

But masks are essential when meeting clients.

“I felt muzzled,” says Learka Bosnak, a sales associate with Douglas Elliman of California in Pasadena, Calif. “I was constantly running around saying, ‘I’m smiling under here!’ This business is all about rapport, comfort level.”

Etiquette experts say it’s important to smile – even when wearing a mask. Your mouth may be covered, but your smile is still visible in your eyes and audible in your speech, according to a blog post from Debrett’s, a professional etiquette and coaching company based in London.

It’s also important to make eye contact, so don’t wear sunglasses. “Eye contact will become even more important when we can’t gauge others’ expressions,” Debrett’s says. “Eye contact is the basis of trust, releasing chemicals like oxytocin in the brain.”

Speak more distinctly, too. You have a mask over your mouth, so your speech is muffled and others are unable to read your lips. Raise your voice and speak clearly, Debrett’s suggests.

Heather T. Roy, a Douglas Elliman agent in Bosnak’s office, recently joined Bosnak to meet with a body language expert and learn tips to apply to their business. One point they appreciated: Watch your body language.

“Face the person and make sure your feet are in the right place,” Bosnak told the Journal. “Otherwise, you’re signaling that you are not listening. Now it’s become so rote, I don’t even think about not facing a client when I’m talking to them. If they are behind me and ask a question, I will turn around and look at them.”

Keep your body language positive and open. Avoid slouching or crossing your arms so you come across as friendly and approachable, even in a mask.

Source: “4 Tips for Communicating With a Mask On,” Debretts.com (2020) and “How Do Real-Estate Agents Show Homes During COVID? With Face Masks, Gloves, and Some Ingenuity,” The Wall Street Journal (2020) [Log-in required.]

SOURCE: FloridaRealtors.org © Copyright 2020 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD 

Blog author image

Roxanne Dixon

Highly motivated Real Estate Agent with over 8 years of diverse experience in residential(Purchase/Sale), commercial, and investment(Annual Rental, Airbnb, Property Management) estate. Strong analytic....

Latest Blog Posts

Another Reason to Move to Fla.? Home Heating Prices

The usual move-to-Fla. reasons – sun, beaches and no income tax – omit one item: home-heating costs. A harsh NE winter this year could push natural gas prices 50% higher.NEW YORK –

Read More

More New Homes Are Being Built with 4-Plus Bedrooms

NAHB: Since COVID-19, more Americans want bigger homes: The share of single-family homes started with 4 or more bedrooms rose from 42.6% in 2019 to 45.2% in 2020.WASHINGTON – More Americans

Read More

Homebuying, Stress and the Things Couples Fight About

Couples may happily disagree in life, but when they have to share a home the differences can come to the forefront. The top reason for a fight? A home’s price.NEW YORK – Homebuying is

Read More

Foreign Buyers May Return in Nov. as U.S. Eases Restrictions

Travelers must be fully vaccinated and have a recent negative COVID-19 test if flying to the U.S., but the change could allow more buyers to physically tour homes.WASHINGTON – President Joe

Read More