The internet is convenient, isn’t it?
You can sit in your pyjamas on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine, and carry out the majority of your business tasks without ever having to step out of the front door. It lets us conduct business with people all over the world with just a few clicks of a mouse, and communicate with everyone we need to speak to without ever losing the comfort of our front room, television, dog and casual clothing.
There are a few issues with this high level of convenience.
Sometimes, we can forget the need to actually get up and leave our home office in favour of a burst of fresh air instead of conducting our business and life ‘virtually’.
No matter how many great ways to communicate there are through the web, nothing has ever yet managed to match the importance and effectiveness of face to face communication.
This morning I attended my first ever breakfast network meeting for local businesses.
Yes…first ever. We drank coffee, ate breakfast and discussed how we can support each other. I came away knowing I had made more contacts and if any of them needed any website help, they would contact me.
When most people are asked about how they like to communicate, unless they are very shy they will probably admit that they still believe face to face communication is the best way of sharing ideas and holding a conversation.
There are a number of reasons for this.
When we speak to someone who is standing before us, around seventy percent of what we communicate is non verbal. This means that we express ourselves through our facial expressions, body language and intonation more than through the actual words we choose to share with the person we are communicating to.
The minute you move communication from face to face to another medium, much of what we say is lost. Although sales experts remind people who do cold calling to smile when they speak over the telephone, many of us can’t pick up on emotions and feelings through a phone conversation.
Move in to online communication and things get even tougher. When we send an e-mail or an instant message online, we have emoticons at our disposal – but this is a handful of icons which will never be able to replace the fluency and expressiveness of face to face communication. Text messages, similarly, are a very limiting way of sharing information, and many a conversation has gone awry through texting, as there is simply not enough detail allowed through the format to make communication effective.
Although videoconferencing does much to mimic face to face communication, it still cannot replace the power of talking to someone who is standing in front of you. Video often has delays which make conversation stilted, and there is nothing so bonding between two people as the opportunity to put a hand on a shoulder, or mirror body language when they are sitting in front of you.
So, the next time you get the chance to meet someone or a client schedules a meeting with you, and you are tempted to ask them to hold it online, in a ‘virtual’ environment, why not consider going traditional on them and actually meeting them face to face?
You’ll get more done, achieve a much stronger bond, and be much more likely to retain them as an ongoing customer if they have the chance to meet you in the flesh.
What’s your thoughts on communication and the best way?
Please share your views in the comments below.
Nothing beats actual face to face communication especially if you are someone who loves the company of “real” people.
You are right about this. We can pick up so much more with others when we talk face to face.
This reminds me of getting to know you over the internet and than meeting you in person last year. It was so cool! It was like getting to really know you.
As for working at home and getting outside. I always take some time at least on the weekend to get out with other people. When those walls start closing in on me I know it is time to get outside with the real world.
Thank you for reminding us all to remember to communicate the old fashion way.
Joy and I still have very fond memories of our time together with you and Steve.
We often talk about it – great times.
We will be coming to you next!
What fun that will be. Look forward to it.
The memories always make me smile. It will be fun to build more. You always have a place to stay.
I agree with you. I often rummage through the dictionary trying to find words that will give my words the actually meaning I want for them. It’s definitely easier in person.
I believe face to face communicationis soper important! in these days it’s necessary. if you have the chance to talk face to face- take it!
LOL…its funny to think that all this technology rooted in “communications” is resulting in less and less real human “communication”! I think that is nearly the dictionary definition of irony.
Andrew thanks for bringing up this – a great reminder. I completely agree with you on the importance of face to face communication after having gone through a crazy (yet successful) long distance relationship 🙂 LOL.
Face-to-face communication is definitely better. I sometimes worry with emails how a remark will be perceived, especially when it needs to be persuasive or assertive. It is much easier to be sure that you are coming across the way you intend, and to adapt according to how the other person responds when communication is face-to-face.
I know exactly what you mean when you talk about emails being incorrectly percieved.
Face-to-face…every time for me or Skype.
Actually, I prefer communicating offline and I consider myself very good at it.
Being in this line of business, the online communication is a necessity and I don’t mind it. However, in some cases I know that a business talk would go much better if I could only get that person to speak to me face-to-face.
Or via Skype?