There is no denying that the ease of communication from technological developments has greatly enhanced the capabilities of businesses around the world. However, one must assess how these developments have had a detrimental effect on the value of face-to-face interaction.
It has become commonplace for social media to be blamed for issues in society. What is often overlooked is the effects it is having on the business world. The opportunity to meet someone in person is continuing to be overlooked and replaced by emails, phone calls and video calls. Whilst these alternatives may be effective replacements for a meeting, there are some obvious advantages of in-person interactions that are being disregarded. Whilst these alternatives present obvious advantages with respect to time and flexibility, they also present some equally obvious barriers to the ability to read body language and tone. This will hinder your ability to gain a better understanding of the person you are dealing with and potentially lead to misunderstandings with damaging effects.
Being willing to meet someone in person demonstrates how you value the relationship and their time. It allows a strong relationship to develop and this will become increasingly important as time progresses. The likelihood of this person then recommending your services is greatly increased, eventually leading to further benefit. The ability to put a face to a name for later interactions has immeasurable benefits, and will have an influence on the commitment of the other individual to the relationship. From personal experience as a recruiter I have seen at first-hand how valuable face-to-face meetings can be. Whether this be with a candidate or a client, the meetings have had a lasting impact on the working relationship.
In summary, whilst alternatives to face-to-face meetings are time-efficient and flexible. A consideration for avoiding these alternatives is something that should be made more often. Hopefully resulting in the clarity of the value that can be lost from avoiding to meet someone in person.
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