Nothing can replace the value of face-to-face communication. However, in a growing business, traveling to meet with customers and team members is not always feasible or economical.
We communicate over email and phone, but even then, messages get misinterpreted and a sense of personal connection is never truly established or maintained. In fact, it’s said that over 90 percent of how we communicate is through nonverbal cues like gestures and facial expressions. With that said, one cannot underestimate the power of video conferencing to enable businesses to maximize the effectiveness of their communications. Here are just some of the many advantages of face-to-face communication.
Effectiveness of Meetings
Things get done. When there’s an issue that requires a decision, you’re able to reach a consensus more quickly. One simple 5-minute conversation could eliminate 15 back and forth emails. When there are many people in a meeting, there’s more energy and opportunity to participate and creatively contribute. Often, there's also a synergy that’s achieved which ignites discussion and innovative thinking. You can brainstorm more easily and solve a handful of problems.
Reacting and adjusting to nonverbal cues. Someone who is frequently checking their watch or yawning, would tell you very easily that it’s time to wrap things up or make an effort to change the quality of your voice to be more engaging (or at least change the subject.) And the very opposite is also true; if colleagues are smiling, nodding or leaning forward, you know that they’re invested, and you have their buy-in. There isn’t much guesswork involved.
A Personal Touch
Plain and simple, it’s just nice to see who you're speaking with. It creates a feeling of community because we’re better able to socialize and interact with one another. We quickly build a bond that sets the foundation for trust and ultimately, lasting business relationships.
If you aren’t a believer yet, ask yourself why you make an effort to attach smiley faces to sensitive emails? Why do you put extra question marks or exclamation points at the end of exasperated emails? We inherently know that we need to overemphasize via email because we have that urge to communicate what is only possible through face-to-face communication.