Whether you are looking to strengthen your business relationships or improve your communication, face to face meetings remain a valuable tool. In fact, there are many advantages to face to face meetings that no digital technology can replicate.
The most important advantage of face to face meetings is that they create stronger bonds between people. This is essential for long-term company success.
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1. Better Communication
Online meetings may seem to offer advantages in many areas but face to face communication is still the best way to connect and communicate. When you meet face to face, you can watch for and interpret micro-behaviors like body language, facial expressions and eye contact that provide hints about how people are feeling or what they’re thinking.
You can also use nonverbal cues to improve your conversation and refocus people’s attention. For example, if you notice that someone keeps checking their watch while you’re discussing a topic, use a different tone or change the topic to refocus their attention.
2. Better Attention
While e-mail, instant messaging, social media and other digital communication tools have largely replaced traditional face to face meetings, they still have their benefits in some situations. For example, when there are tough issues affecting a business, communicating through the medium of face to face meetings provides the opportunity for parties to ask questions, clarify their understanding and build trust.
During a face to face meeting, leaders have the advantage of being able to monitor participants’ body language and facial expressions. They can respond to these cues and adjust tone of voice if needed.
3. Better Listening
As we increasingly rely on video conferencing platforms, it’s important to be able to effectively listen to your team members. When a remote team feels they’re being heard, it can lead to better engagement and productivity.
Active listening is a critical skill that receives far too little focus and practice. It’s vital to ensuring effective communication, building trust and rapport, and resolving conflict.
In order to really be heard, you need to pay close attention to the speaker’s body language, tone of voice and inflection. This includes making eye contact and letting them know you’re listening by nodding.
4. Better Body Language
Body language is a crucial part of communication, especially when people aren’t together. In addition to demonstrating confidence and commitment, it can also convey conflict or even miscommunication.
One of the best things about face to face meetings is that leaders have a chance to look into their employees’ eyes and read their nonverbal cues to understand their feelings and reactions. That’s a great way to foster trust and respect.
In online meetings, however, this isn’t always as easy to do. The lag in video calls can make it difficult to interpret people’s gestures and facial expressions.
5. Better Motivation
When it comes to online meetings, it can be hard to keep people engaged. Whether it’s because they’re too busy glancing at their email or they’re just bored with the topic being covered, a good percentage of remote workers can get lost in the shuffle.
When this happens, it can lead to frustration and morale issues. Fortunately, it’s possible to keep virtual participants focused and motivated using simple tactics.
One easy way to do this is to show appreciation for everyone’s input. Taking time to thank each individual for their work can make all the difference in encouraging people to participate and build strong team chemistry.