In business communications, there are plenty of occasions when emails and calls will suffice. Important or not, most meetings are time-consuming. At their worst, an abundance of meetings can be one of the most frustrating things about modern office life.
However, face-to-face communication can do your business a world of favours in today’s globalised society. Here’s why.
Studies show that as much as 93% of communication is non-verbal
Potentially, only a mere 7% of meaningful communication could be word-based. Therefore text-based communication can be misunderstood easily. Have you ever opened an email and been unsure of a client’s tone of voice? Not everyone will be able to get away with inserting emoji into their business communications. This means emails can sound emotionally ambiguous and make parties liable to be unsure of each other’s true meaning.
Non-verbal communication can be considered particularly important if you’re conducting business in multiple languages. Non-verbal communication differs across all cultures, which means a lack of body language awareness could lead to communication failures. Talking about their service offering, Global Voices say that face-to-face interpretation helps others understand a speaker’s message “without losing any cultural or emotive significance.”
Face-to-face meetings effectively engage millennials
Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of National Meetings and Events told Forbes that “Millennials are highly collaborative and want instant feedback,” and so value face-to-face communication far more than their extremely tech-savvy reputation may have you believe.
Massari goes on to say that “If we don’t engage millennials through active participation in face-to-face meetings … we will lose their talent and attention to organizations that do.” If your business cannot adapt with the times and cater to the needs of millennials in some way, you can rest assured that others will.
Face-to-face meetings make teams stronger
It goes without saying that internal memos can save a lot of time and hassle when it comes to internal comms. However, making time for facetime with the team on a regular basis not only shows them that you care and are invested in their progress as a leader, but it also serves to make teams as a whole stronger.
According to “The Complete Handbook of Business Meetings”, face-to-face meetings can help to “build team spirit and cohesion, and to develop a group culture”.
Team building does not have to involve awkward trust falls and expensive meals out on the company dime. Sometimes all it takes to strengthen the bond of your team is to make time for enough face-to-face communication. This bond could very well be what sees your team through the years to come.