Given the events of the past two years, the internal work processes of countless businesses have changed forever. Gone is the need to write projects up on a whiteboard or lead an in-person briefing for an internal team. Thanks to an increasing reliance on digital communication platforms and cloud computing, everything from group projects to client onboarding has migrated online.
This increasing emphasis on digital tools has led to a huge increase in online meetings. Many business leaders are starting to question the logic of hosting a face-to-face meeting where you can video call each other instantly, without leaving your home.
Although this is understandable, it would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater and write off any in-person interaction as a waste of time and money.
In fact, the migration to a digital world only accentuates the power of face-to-face communication in the right circumstances. When business people are accustomed to communication through a screen, there can be a tremendous advantage to hosting a memorable in-person meeting.
In-person meetings help you to trust people
There can be no substitute for basic human nature. While society is ruthlessly effective at finding the easiest solution to a problem, it can be unappreciative of what went before. The contrast between online and in-person meetings is a great example of this.
As everyone jumps on the video calling bandwagon, businesses are starting to realise that it is difficult to get a true handle on employees, clients, and suppliers without meeting them in person.
Video calling detaches you from the subliminal communication that often speaks louder than words. Whether it is nervous body language disguised by a camera angle or a disjointed connection that makes it difficult to hold a coherent conversation, sometimes it is better to speak in person when difficult decisions must be made.
If you are going to speak in person, then you are best off working with a professional meeting planner, who can ensure the meeting is a success without requiring your immediate input.
Virtual meetings can pick up the slack with less important matters
This is not to discount the usefulness of video calls. If you have a quick query, a regular weekly catch-up meeting, or other relatively unimportant matters to discuss, they can be a quick and efficient way to communicate.
Furthermore, if you need to talk to someone who lives far away, and it isn’t possible to arrange a face-to-face meeting, then video calling offers a great alternative.
While in-person meetings should be treated as meaningful experiences, video calls are best utilised as daily work tools.
Develop the right attitude for face-to-face meetings
If you want to make your face to face meetings a success, then you need to develop the right attitude for them. There is no doubt that when you have become used to video calls, making an effort to meet someone in person is difficult.
However, you should remember the advantage of an in-person meeting – namely, that you can build a deeper connection. Therefore, try to enter the conversation with an inquisitive, open attitude to find common ground between you and ensure the meeting is a success.