04 October 2016
Is there still a place for face to face?
In the last fifteen years, communication methods have evolved more than many of us could have imagined.
WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, Skype…. the list goes on and if you are anything like me it can be hard to keep up. We communicate more than ever before, in a seemingly never ending number of new and creative ways. With greater realism and access to digital communication than ever it does beg the question, are the days of coming together for a meeting or conference over?
Technology is so good, it can almost feel like a friend or colleague is in the room with me even though they are hundreds, even thousands of miles away. Important information can be shared and discussed easily and cost efficiently. It saves on travel costs and time, so really, why bother meeting in person?
Well the benefits of being together in real time 3d with full surround sound featuring smell and touch are such that the answer is most definitely yes! I would second the ancient wisdom shared by the writer of the letter to the Hebrews nearly two thousand years ago who said, “let us not neglect our meeting together.” It’s not just for church goers, its good advice for all.
Quite simply, things happen when we come together which cannot happen in any other environment.
For example, things easily get lost over digital communication as the smaller details, the unique team dynamics or the speaker’s small personality quirks go unnoticed. There is a depth which just cannot be recreated. Likewise small talk, which though often underrated actually becomes the bond for many working relationships is hard to establish as the conversation often feels laboured over the likes of skype. There is a sense of ‘getting on with business’ when in fact the details of our likes, dislikes and passions can be fundamental to a successful meeting.
There is also the consideration of full body language. This is as personal as you can get, and a lot more dynamic than a nice head and shoulders shot in Facetime. Everybody has their tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and personal charisma to work with during the conversation, helping everyone better understanding each persons perspective.
If all of that is not enough – eating together is proven to strengthen relationships, enhance working environments and aid productivity. Sure you can video conference your lunch, but it’s just not the same!
Here at all nations we love helping clients facilitate video conferences and webcasts, but for some occasions, only coming together face to face will do.
Jonathan Cooper M.D