With the advancement of communication technology, the face-to-face meeting seems to have taken a backseat. But should it? The main arguments for not having face-to-face meetings is that it is time-consuming and expensive especially if your teams are in different parts of the world. What are the advantages? Here are three reasons to invest in face-to-face meetings.
1. Communication is not just made up of words
According to study done by Professor Mehrabian, communication is made up of three components: 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% actual words. With these statistics in mind, it becomes evident that physical meetings where all participants are present is necessary. If you are not able to see the person you are communicating with you, you have the chance of losing over half the message. By having face-to-face meetings, you are able to see a person’s body language and adjust the message accordingly so that it is fully received.
2. Relationship building
Though we can connect with prospective clients or colleagues on various communication channels like social media, Skype, WhatsApp and other communication apps. Relationships are not truly cemented until we meet face-to-face. When we meet someone in person, we are able to put our products in their hands. We are able to brainstorm and be influenced by the emotions felt by the other people in the room. This may cause us to feel more motivated to believe in the strategy or plan. Furthermore, we can encourage people to use our services if we build a good connection with them through in-person meetings. Trust is further strengthened by meeting people in person. Networking and community building is strengthened through face-to-face meetings.
When we meet people face-to-face, we are able to hold more efficient meetings because people are less likely to multi-task. Our message is received more clearly and people are more likely to ask questions if they are unsure. Through facial expressions, you can also see who is understanding you and ask someone a question if they seem unsure. Face-to-face meetings tend to be shorter than conference calls as people are encouraged to get to the point.
Here is how to get the most benefit out of a face-to-face meeting:
Send the documents which are needed for the meeting beforehand. This will ensure that people will not be sitting in silencing reading the necessary information in the meeting and a more informed discussion can be held.
Always weigh up the meeting against your objectives and ensure that it will be beneficial. Say “no” to the meetings which will not be beneficial.
Set a time
Make sure everyone is aware of the timeline of the meeting. This will help to prevent the meeting from going on for extended hours.
It is important to listen actively to what is being said in the meeting. This will help you to ask well thought-out questions.
By following the tips above and taking note of the benefits of face-to-face meetings you will be well on your way to building long-lasting relationships with your clients and colleagues.
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