So is the in-person meeting too old fashioned and outdated in our “I need it done now” world of today? I think not.
In today’s fast-paced work environment, it seems like most people think everything can be done electronically because it brings speed and efficiency. I argue that what we lose here is the personal connection. Even with all our new technology gadgets these days (smartphones, tablets, video conferencing, web conferencing, social media, etc.), there is no better way to develop a long term relationship than with an in-person face to face meeting. Recently, the Cornell University School of Hotel Management indicates that face-to-face meetings are best when:
- You are trying to capture attention/support
- You want inspire positive emotions
- You want to build relationships
I find that while the new communication tools play a vital role in the workplace, they can never replace meeting someone in person where you can spend some quality time and get to know that person better. In-person meetings force everyone to focus their attention and energy on the task at hand instead of multitasking. Granted, there are some people who will still multi-task at these meetings, but it occurs less than on virtual meetings.
I’ve found in-person invaluable to building my relationships with clients, partners, co-workers and vendors. One recent example: I reached out to an old colleague to congratulate him on his new role and offered to swing by and meet him at his new office in person for a coffee. He agreed and during our meeting offered me an opportunity to win some new business for an upcoming project. That would have never happened if I just sent him an email or had a phone call with him.
So the next time you think about jumping on a conference call, I would encourage you to try to take some time out of your busy day and meet face to face. You never know where that may lead.
Have your own face-to-face success story? Share it here.