With technology changing the way in which we communicate, it’s not uncommon for businesses to conduct important meetings over the telephone or via platforms like Skype.
The modern workplace prioritises efficiency, introducing systems that enhance collaboration and allow individuals to share information seamlessly, removing the need for time-consuming face to face meetings.
However, while a quick telephone conversation or email may suffice in some situations, there are still times when arranging to meet over a coffee is better and more productive for all parties.
Navigate with nonverbal cues
As tempting as it may be to take a call from the comfort of your office, it’s important that you break the cycle and get into the habit of meeting in person, even if it’s only once every couple of months.
Of course, for important matters, it’s standard practice to arrange a personal meeting to discuss strategies, as it gives everyone an opportunity to address potential challenges in more detail.
One of the biggest benefits of face to face meetings is the quality of conversation, as you relax into the conversation, offering your full attention to proceedings and elaborating on points that are most important.
Although you may feel engaged when speaking on the telephone, the lack of non-verbal cues can make it difficult for participants to gauge responses and know how to keep the conversation flowing naturally.
Hand movements, eye contact and body language are just some of the non-verbal cues that can help you monitor the strength of the conversation, as they help you navigate through topics easily.
Sharing ideas in person
While there are now online applications that allow you to display documents during online meetings, there’s still nothing more effective than talking through a piece of work in person.
With a printed document in hand or a whiteboard full of ideas mounted on the wall, face to face meetings give people the opportunity to collaborate freely, finding ways to improve a project as a collective.
Although it’s possible for documents to be reviewed online, physical meetings encourage parties to address the issues promptly, instead of ignoring an email and then forgetting about the matter for another few days.
Some of the most effective solutions are born out of such meetings, as they allow the group to bounce ideas off one another and discuss the best possible outcomes.
Again, while a similar format can be recreated via a group call or video chat, it will never have the same quality or intensity as sitting around a table and offering your full attention to proceedings.
Make a good impression…
With the availability of technology allowing workers to communicate and collaborate with ease, most individuals have become overly dependent on their devices at the expense of personal meetings.
Not only will face to face meetings unlock a level of quality that’s difficult to achieve over the telephone but making the effort to meet with clients will also give off a positive impression that helps build trust.
Being able to put a face to the name will always help strengthen a working relationship, building a rapport that will only enhance collaboration moving forward.
So, next time you’re arranging a routine catch-up with a client or contact, take the leap and offer to meet for a cup of coffee or bite to eat – you never know what opportunities you might unlock!