I’m a fairly young guy, but growing up, the older I became, the more my mother would hound me about the importance of not “wasting time” on electronic gadgets and gizmos.
And with good reason—what started out as an fascination with Tamagotchis, Game Boys and flip phones soon became one of Kindles, tablets and laptops.
It seemed that with each passing year, I became less interested in spending time with actual people, and more consumed by the enticements of what the ever-evolving world of personal electronics could offer me.
I hadn’t yet become an active part of the six to fifteen percent of Internet users with a full-blown Web-driven addiction, but looking back, I wasn’t that far off, either.
Flash forward seven or eight years, and things are definitely different, now…
No, I haven’t yet transformed into one of those crotchety old men you see on the evening news, but as a business owner working solely out on the World Wide Web, I’m now finally seeing the real, money-making importance of face-to-face human interaction.
Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy the efficiency and timeliness of a quick phone call or slack message just as much as the next guy. That said, when it comes time for a meeting to take place, there’s nothing better than a face-to-face interaction.
So, whether it be through Skype, Google Hangouts or over a good, old-fashioned cup of coffee, the next time you need to conduct business, make it as much of an in-person interaction as humanly possible.
Still find yourself preferring visual secrecy?
No worries—I thought you might say that. As such, the following are three of my favorite reasons for for showing off my pearly whites during a routine business meeting:
1) Authenticity at Its Finest
As a millennial, I send tons of text messages. Still, the majority of my personal messages are largely built around eventually meeting up with someone.
Case in point?
To this day, in spite of tremendous technology, the vast majority of people prefer more intimate, face-to-face encounters to get their respective points across. Needless to say, this includes your business’ customers, as well.
Think about it—one of the biggest perks of turning on your webcam or making a meeting a literal affair is that both provide for a more authentic, trust-building experience.
There’s no secrecy to speak of—what you see is what you get. In business, this kind of transparency is hard to come by.
Suggesting that you and a coworker, customer or potential client speak face-to-face is one of the easiest ways for your business to build the type of positive reputation it needs to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
2) Unity of Message and Experience
It was American writer Thomas Merton who once famously said, “The deepest level of communication is not communication, but rather communion. It is wordless—beyond speech, beyond concept.”
Seeing as how Merton passed away in the late sixties, it’s unlikely that his original comments had anything to do with communication strategies for present-day businesses.
However, he does bring up an interesting point about the idea of “communion.” Communion is the sharing of thoughts and feelings on a more mental or spiritual level.
While a phone call, email or text message is sufficient for the mere exchange of information, during a face-to-face meeting, there’s more that’s being swapped than words—emotions, feelings, ideas, concepts, non-verbal cues, etc.
Ideally, meeting in a single physical location is best for business. If not a realistic option, though, voluntarily show your face during a Skype chat, webinar or teleconference.
Remember, focusing on the communal side of business meetings, you’ve got more to offer than just words—otherwise, why else would you be holding a meeting in the first place?
3) Confidence In Leaders, Relationships and Vision
In the previous section, I touched on the type of communication—or communion, rather—that takes place in business meetings where faces are made visible for all to see.
Clinging closely to the idea of organizational communion, when face-to-face meetings happen, leaders are more effectively able to broadcast confidence, build long-lasting relationships and transmit a vision for their respective businesses.
Yes, the words a business owner shares are what matter most, but if you’re looking for listeners to follow you, work with your or become an active part of your company’s community, an emotional connection is needed …
Yup, you guessed it—once again, this is where your face comes into the picture to save the day.
Others might not be willing to speak face-to-face, but by simply taking advantage of the opportunity to put your smile, personality and enthusiasm on full display, you present power, confidence and an eagerness to connect with your audience.
I won’t be tossing my Kindle, tablet or laptop in the trashcan anytime soon, but any chance I get to make my meetings more personable, I pounce.
Because of it, I’ve seen an increase in business success, and am certain that you will, too.