Technology has disrupted the way we work, giving workers the opportunity to work from wherever they want, whenever they want. This has led to an increase in remote teams, powering the adoption of collaboration tools and platforms like Slack, Asana, Google Drive, and videoconferencing.
And while this makes it easy to stay in touch with everyone 24/7, one should not fall into the trap of relying 100% on technology to carry out all business communication. We are, after all, social beings, and we thrive and learn from social interaction.
Communicating with someone face-to-face has several benefits, as you are able to understand not only what a person is saying, but also how they are behaving, moving, and acting. Our body language, at times, can speak louder than words, and this can help professionals in getting to know better their audience, who they are working with, and how they communicate best.
4 benefits of face-to-face meetings
1. You engage in in-depth conversations
Emails, text messages, and voice notes are typically sweet, short, and straight to the point. While this is perfect on a day to day basis as time flies by, it doesn’t allow us to truly get to know the person we are interacting with.
In-person meetings often lead to more robust, in-depth conversations, where new ideas come up, new bonding points are found, and you are able to get a better understanding of what a person wants or is looking for.
2. You can better read a person
Like mentioned above, body language can speak louder than words, and when it comes to making a strong first impression or creating a lasting relationship, one’s facial expressions, hand-grip, and posture can determine the tone and nature of the relationship.
Additionally, by observing the person you interact with and their reaction to your words, you are better able to get an idea of their personality, which can enhance your future communications and help you pinpoint the best way to ‘get to them’.
3. You can get a full picture
Our environment also says a lot about who we are as individuals. Meeting someone in their work environment and professional setting can give you a better idea of how they like to work, how they carry out tasks, their thinking-process, and their decision-making process. All of this provides valuable insights to further and strengthen a business relationship. A face-to-face meeting paints a fuller picture of a person and their personality.
4. The value of off-track conversations
When you interact with someone in-person, there is an increased possibility of getting off-track, of associating words with random concepts, ideas, or experiences. This means that you have the opportunity to get to know someone beyond their business persona; the work and life line has been blurred by technology, and getting a glimpse of an individual’s personal life can provide you with valuable insights about them, which in turn can help you enhance your communications strategy and create a stronger bond with them.
Sometimes it’s the little things that matter, and these things often come out when you meet someone in-person, when you disconnect a little bit, and give your full attention to what is going on at the moment.
While technology can help us be more efficient and productive on a day-to-day basis, sometimes we do need to take the time to go see someone and engage in meaningful conversations.