"Take good care of yourself in this very special time." Since the start of the coronavirus and containment crisis, new forms of politeness have flourished at the bottom of our emails or at the end of our professional telephone exchanges. The “do well” replaced the very formal “cordial” and “good to you”.
This is not surprising, notes Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet, professor of political communication at Sciences Po and president of MCBG Conseil. “It's about empathy. We are afraid for ourselves, for others. We need to secure our network. It's a way of reassuring yourself, ”he analyzes.
In this period of confinement, we also face the fear of being neglected. “I think that the brutality of the change of context creates a strong need to be loved, or at least not to be forgotten. We unconsciously hope that by saying take care of yourself , we will receive the same message in return, ”reflects Stéphanie Guillaume, director of the editorial communication agency Avec des Mots.
"Add affect to the professional relationship"
These new formulas are however a little familiar and clash with the usual tone of the professional environment. “Social barriers are breaking down, comments Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet. We are all on an equal footing. Whether you are a star, a Parisian, a Lorient, a Bordeaux. We're all confined… ”
For Stéphanie Guillaume, adding this familiar formula to the end of an email allows you to express an emotion and "add affect to the professional relationship". With an objective, conscious or not, “that our customers, partners, members, fellow citizens continue to buy our products or our ideas from us? », She asks pragmatically.
Telephone conversations interrupted by the voices of children in the living room are perhaps not unrelated to this phenomenon. Teleworking, and its tools like videoconferencing, has indeed allowed the professional sphere to enter our privacy, contributing to the erasure of certain filters.
The "lasting and profound" impact of this crisis
These familiar formulas can thus appear in our interactions with our superiors. According to Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet, “we are indeed all citizens faced with the fear of the virus. The hierarchy fades before the common. It brings the French closer. "
Of course, the communications specialist does not deny the "frictions" that arose in certain regions following the massive arrival of Parisians fleeing the confined capital. But he notes on the whole a "solidarity and an understanding" welcome in this period.
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However, we have already experienced national shocks and tragedies recently, prompting us to rethink our approach to the other. But, “unlike the period of the attacks, the current crisis has a lasting and profound impact. "Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet thus emphasizes:" This time, we know that the crisis will settle in the long term and we do not see the outcome. "
So above all: "Take care of yourself and your loved ones and we hope that this article will find you in good health".