In today’s ultra-connected world, many people have gotten in the habit of communicating through digital means, ultimately avoiding face-to-face meetings entirely. The thinking behind it is that digital communication is instantaneous and that (hypothetically, at least) you will get things done faster using some sort of messaging or communications app.
If ticking things off your to-do list was all you needed to accomplish, then emails and texts would probably suffice. However, sound leadership requires a real human connection to be effective.
In-person meetings reduce miscommunication
The truth is, there is a lot of power in face-to-face interaction. In fact, a study conducted at UCLA concluded that 93 percent of communication efficacy is determined by non-verbal communication – cues from body language, facial expression, vocal nuances, and subtle gestures – signals you simply can’t pick up in an email.
Case in point: we’ve probably all been on one end of a cyber-miscommunication at least once or twice. When you’re texting or dashing off an email message, it’s easy to come across as curt, insensitive, abrupt or oblivious to the nuances of the subject matter.
After all, the recipient can’t see your face. They don’t know if you’re being rude or simply failing in your attempt to be irreverent or funny. They may feel that you are diminishing their concerns or not taking the matter as seriously as you should. This sort of misunderstanding can work against your attempts to get things done faster by drawing out the process, as your communications may lack context.
So, if we can agree that faster isn’t always better, let’s look at why face-to-face meetings are still the gold standard in business.
Do you really know who are you doing business with?
If you have never met your supplier/vendor/customer/colleague face-to-face, you are only getting part of the picture. If you are in a leadership position, this is even more important, as putting a face to the name imbues your relationships with meaning that goes beyond getting tasks done.
Achieving buy-in with face-to-face meetings
Getting buy-in from your stakeholders is a key aspect of leadership. When employees can connect to the greater mission and vision of a company, they will actively engage and be highly motivated to deliver. When they know that their leadership is actively in touch with day-to-day concerns, it is easier for them to feel like they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. They feel supported, acknowledged, and validated. Face-to-face meetings can help achieve this.
Disengagement hurts the bottom line
In situations where there is no human connection, on the other hand, employees are less likely to engage. They won’t feel as accountable and you may experience significant delays in completing projects. A disengaged workforce can have a negative effect on the bottom line and, without any progress toward profitability, the long-range outlook is not a good one.
In conclusion, it is easy to rely on digital communication to get things done on a day-to-day basis, but nothing will ever replace face-to-face interaction when it comes to running a profitable business with a fully engaged workforce.
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, Business Workspaces provides dynamic solutions that help you connect with your stakeholders. From short-term executive office rentals to on-demand meeting rooms, we help you get things done. Schedule a tour of our location today and discover what’s possible.