The Value Behind Face to Face Communication
How strange it is that on one hand, technology has made it possible to connect with loved ones thousands of miles away yet on the other hand it has built a wall between you and your closest neighbor. Society has evolved into this beautiful, technologically savvy world with countless benefits that have improved our standard of life. We have access to things, people, and resources all across the globe and it would be naïve of us to reject or walk away from this lifestyle.
Although, it seems that a common trap we fall into is using technology as our ‘be all-end all’ rather than something that merely compliments what we were previously doing. We communicate through email, conference calls, and texting opposed to sitting alongside one another. Technology should be used in conjunction with face to face communication rather than as a replacement for it. Whether being used in the workforce or in your own home, this personal interaction is crucial.
By nature, humans are highly dependent on community; we rely on one another to aid us in tasks, to talk us through things and to work as our support system. While not impossible, it is far more difficult to develop this sense of community if we are never sharing face to face experiences.
BlueJeans has come up with three reasons why face to face communication is so critical:
1. Effectiveness of meetings
If a conflict arises, you can meet briefly for a conversation and solve the issue right then and there instead of exchanging multiple emails back and forth. Aside from any conflicts, people tend to brainstorm better when a large group is sitting together. There is a synergy created and piggybacking occurs, making conversations far more effective.
2. Nonverbal communication
Often times, the nonverbal cues an individual displays are a better indication of how they’re feeling or responding to something rather than the words coming out of their mouth. We can easily determine when someone is uninterested by their stance, where their eye contact is, and what their facial expression reads, something not so easily done when they aren’t directly in front of you.
3. A personal touch
There’s nothing more to a personal touch other than the fact that it’s nice! This allows us to better communicate with one another and ultimately creates a bond with a foundation built on trust and business relationships.
Step out and be different. Rather than sending out that quick email, take the time to walk to your colleagues desk and speak with them personally. If you happen to miss them, sharpen that old pencil we seem to have forgotten about and leave them a note to visit you when they get the chance. The simple gesture of a hand written note, may be enough for them to return the favor and walk over to you. What may seem like a slower and less efficient process, actually has a substantial amount of value behind it.
By: Emily K, Swingline Intern