We are living in an Internet of Things (IoT) society where technology is seamlessly interwoven in our society. We use our phones to make videos, schedule appointment, conduct teleconferences and instant message people. However, none of these functions will ever supplant face-to-face communication. Here are 5 reasons why face-to-face communication still wins first place.
You get an immediate answer
When you are looking at the person face-to-face, you get an answer. There’s no lag in between when you say something and when the people reads and responds to it. I took a meeting with a potential employer and immediately received an answer about my situation. We are living in a microwave society where we want answers like yesterday. Face-to-face communication satisfies this whole ‘need to know now’ culture.
You get to judge the nonverbal communication
Nonverbals are bigger than what is being said. Does the person look uncomfortable? Tight, happy, free, etc? Face-to-face communication brings you the complete picture. During my in-person meeting, I notice that the person is just as frustrated as I am about a certain contract. You can’t communicate nonverbals over email.
You build trust faster
Building upon the nonverbal communication, face-to-face communication accelerates the ‘know, like and trust’ factor a whole lot faster. You either bond or don’t. This is great because as a society we value our time. Face-to-face communication helps you quickly decide whether or not this is a relationship or person to invest in.
You can ask more questions (and help)
Getting an in-person meeting means that the person has taken time out of his busy schedule to accommodate you. Why not use this to your advantage? Going back to my in-person meeting with a potential employer, I ask her about the current contract and if there are any other federal contracting opportunities. Out of nowhere she gets the office’s federal liaison. I have been to this office on numerous occasions, and don’t know about the federal liaison. The information doesn’t stop there.
The federal liaison then tells me that the company has an on-site office at a federal agency hiring white-collared professionals. My one meeting showcases the power of face-to-face communication. I have learned two new job leads just over one sit-down meeting.
You can fully showcase your communication skills
Pro tip: treat every in-person meeting as an interview. You don’t know who might be looking. I have received emails from people in the same office or profession who reference my coming to their company and I haven’t met them. A face-to-face meeting is a great place to display your communication skills. Can you work with people? What are your soft skills? Are you presentable? All of these things are factors during a face-to-face meeting. You can’t dazzle people in emails the way you do in-person. You can outsource your emails, phone calls, videos but not yourself. Use you face-to-face meeting to stay memorable. That whenever someone in that office asks for an expert, he automatically thinks of you.
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