The Advantages of Face to Face Communication

In this modern age of technologically driven business, it can be easy to push aside actual, physical human interaction for communication via electronic device. We email, we IM, we use social media, we text, we talk on the phone… but we often forget that all of these are missing one common component… real, face to face, human interaction.

Therefore, the question must be asked… does it matter? Does face to face time with your team really make a difference to them, or are they more than willing to receive their instructions via email and through phone calls?

This is a great question, and I believe that it is one that holds a lot of relevancy today. We do live in an age of electronic communication, and it does help us in a lot of ways… but has it gone too far? Are many employees feeling disconnected due to a lack human interaction, and is it having detrimental effects on their productivity?

I think that, to be honest, the answer is different for everyone. There might be people out there who don’t mind not speaking face to face as often, though I do believe that the largest percentage of people would benefit from more actual, tangible human interaction… especially where their management is concerned.

I guess the real question would be, then, is ‘what are the advantages of face to face communication over communication via electronic devices?’ That is actually a great question, and here are some answers that might help you to arrive at a decision that will work the best for your team and in your organization.

1) Face to Face Communication Creates More Motivation

There is no denying the fact that speaking to someone in person can make it much easier to motivate them. Of course, you could write a long winded message to your employees telling them how much they do for the company, but is this going to be more effective than walking up to them, smiling at them, and thanking them in person for their hard work? While you can definitely contribute to motivating your team through electronic communication, there is no doubt that face to face interaction has a special relevance in this area.

2) Face to Face Communication Makes it Easier to Sense What a Person is Really Thinking

While it might be possible to ‘read’ a person based on the language in their emails, there is no greater way to gauge what an individual is thinking than to speak to them in person. Did you know that spoken words account for less than 10% of the communication between humans? The rest consists of body language, voice inflection, facial cues, etc. Therefore, it stands to reason that, in order to really communicate with someone on a level that will allow you to ‘read’ the subtleties in their communication that are not made up of actual words, making sure that there is at least a healthy amount of face to face interaction would definitely be a positive thing!

3) Face to Face Communication Creates a Bond

Whether you want to call it friendship, a partnership, camaraderie, or simply a good working relationship, developing a real bond with someone is far more difficult if you do not ever get to speak to them face to face. When it comes to your team, you are likely going to need to develop at least a decent amount of trust for each other… so why forgo face to face interaction when it could serve to better strengthen the bonds of trust between two people who are going to be relying on each other and working together? Of course, you don’t need to be friends with everyone that you work for, but friendship can happen in the workplace, and avoiding face to face interaction may definitely impede this natural process from running its course.

These free eBooks will help you to develop the active listening and communication skills needed for successful face to face communication.

Active Listening eBook
This eBook describes what active listening is and how it can make you a more effective manager.
ISBN 978-1-62620-963-3 (30 Pages) PDF, Kindle & ePub

Effective Communications eBook
This eBook explains the basic principles of communication so that you can create an open and honest communications environment in any situation.
ISBN 978-1-62620-962-6 (45 Pages) PDF, Kindle & ePub

Key Points

  • Face to face communication offers more scope to motivate team members than electronic communication.
  • It also allows you to get a clear picture of how well your message has been understood and whether the team member has any reservations about what they are being asked to do.
  • Face to face communication is particularly suitable for discussion as there is immediate feedback from the listener.
  • It is particularly effective when the work under discussion requires coordination and collaboration.
  • One of the biggest advantages of face to face communication is that it can create a bond of trust between people in a way that electronic communication simply cannot.

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