Better than Bad: 3 Reasons Why Face-to-Face Meetings are Still Important

 

Online communication has revolutionized the way we do business, allowing us to interact with other people and companies across the globe in ways that were never possible before the advent of digital communication. With the advent of online meetings and video conferencing, you might think that face-to-face meetings are on their way out – but they’re still very important if you want to build better relationships with clients, employees, or vendors. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t throw in the towel on face-to-face meetings just yet.

1) There is so much technology available
phones, Skype, email—all tools that can be used to communicate. However, technology is not enough; we need to set time aside for face-to-face meetings. To communicate an idea or a project properly and thoroughly, it must be done in person. Below I will discuss three reasons why face-to-face meetings are still relevant today. First of all, live communication allows us to build better relationships. An environment where people interact with each other helps us make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions and thoughts. For example, a few months ago our company was having financial issues so we had to downsize our employees. It took some effort to separate employees from each other because there were many misunderstandings between them about what was going on with their company. Luckily there were personal conversations during which people could vent their frustrations at others as well as express their anger towards others who felt frustrated towards them because of some unclear ideas which lead us into making proper decisions based on facts rather than assumptions and thoughts which leads us into misunderstandings between coworkers but through personal conversations they were able to express themselves properly therefore resolving those issues among themselves. Secondly, another reason why face-to-face meetings are still relevant nowadays is because it forces you to concentrate on one task and block out distractions. Employees today have a lot of responsibilities such as working remotely, checking emails constantly and answering text messages while they’re supposed to be focused on work. All these technologies cause distractions within ourselves making it difficult for us to concentrate and focus when performing certain tasks (such as thinking things through). When someone has something important to say or reveal in a meeting, your full attention should be given regardless if you’re using Google Docs at your computer, checking your phone every minute or passing notes back and forth with your neighbor.

2) The world has changed – but we have not
From Uber to Whatsapp to Amazon, we have reached a point where almost everything can be done online. While that might sound like great news for remote workers and busy people everywhere, there’s no denying that something is lost in translation when you meet in person vs virtually. That said, there’s a reason why face-to-face meetings will always have their place – both on our desks and in our calendars. Here’s why it pays to keep things old school once in a while. First of all, facial expressions matter . One study showed that even from an image of just one side of someone’s face, a computer was able to identify if they were happy or sad with 87% accuracy. We make split second decisions based on subtle cues like facial expression and body language—and so do your colleagues! If you want someone to take action on your request or new idea, try presenting it in person; dropping some happy emojis along with your request doesn’t hurt either! After all…everyone loves stickers (click here for ours) . . One study showed that even from an image of just one side of someone’s face, a computer was able to identify if they were happy or sad with 87% accuracy. We make split second decisions based on subtle cues like facial expression and body language—and so do your colleagues! If you want someone to take action on your request or new idea, try presenting it in person; dropping some happy emojis along with your request doesn’t hurt either!

3) People are wired differently
For example, introverts may feel calmer and more in control when they’re communicating virtually, whereas extroverts might prefer meeting face to face. This doesn’t mean one way is better than another—they both have their upsides. However, businesses should consider how individual employees might be affected by a change from virtual meetings to in-person ones. (Consider asking employees for input on how their workday might be affected.) Some people could experience an increase in productivity due to fewer distractions at home, for example; others may find face time makes them more productive. Having a strategy in place that’s flexible enough to accommodate different types of workers will help make any transition smoother. The real point here? Don’t force every employee into a cookie-cutter mold and don’t expect everyone to react in expected ways to new policies or changes. Even seemingly small alterations can affect individual needs—it never hurts to ask how your changes impact each person involved with implementing them. Communication matters! If you’re worried about keeping on top of everything while putting together your plan, there’s no need to panic. Use these tips as a guide, but remember that flexibility goes a long way! If you hit roadblocks along the way, just take it slow and focus on getting out what you need to know first. Then come back for more detail if necessary. Your plan doesn’t have to be complete before you implement it; your business won’t fall apart if things aren’t perfect from day one . . . even if it sometimes feels like it would.

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