More than half of the people we communicate with in the current world are either just a call or an email away, which is the state of the technical world we live in. In such a fast paced world, face-to-face communication has almost become an old fashioned thing. But is it really so? Have we lost the personal touch and warmth obtained by communicating face-to-face? Let us take a look at the aspects of this mode of communication and how it benefits as compared to the other forms of communication.
In face-to-face communication both the sender and the receiver can communicate in a direct manner and can discuss and argue on all the relevant points then and there. It also helps the listener in getting to know more about the intentions of the sender by studying his body language and eye contact patterns.
Though there are many kinds of communication methods owing to technical advancements, face-to-face communication has its own set of advantages over the others. Face-to-face communication gets rid of suspicions and doubts as you can look at the sender directly and study him to know more about his intentions. You cannot study a person’s body posture or language through phone or other modes of indirect communication. Such kinds of communication have an edge over written communication where responses and clarifications can be received and completed immediately.
It is also to be taken into consideration that face-to-face communication helps develop a comfort level leading to a better feedback mechanism. Feedback mechanisms will help the communication process to be completed in an effective manner. Though face-to-face communication is encouraged at all times to maintain the personal warmth it provides, there are certain professional circumstances as detailed below where it is very necessary to be used.
1. Appreciating team members
With improved technology and lack of time, appreciating team members and colleagues have become convenient through emails but it does not do the work most of the times. A ‘Keep it up’ or ‘Thank you’ email is best replaced with a personalised ‘Good Job’ message conveyed face to face. Such a message will not just motivate your team member but will also increase the comfort level and confidence of your colleagues with you.
2. Feedback or criticisms
Any feedback or criticism that is given can add importance to the message and its relevance if said directly face to face. Such a kind of meeting will help the listener understand the attention you provide to him and also the genuineness that is involved in your feedback. Sometimes even sensitive information can be put across in an easy way when communicated face-to-face.
3. Work Allocation
When you are assigning a new responsibility to someone or are trying to delegate your work, talk in person to avoid any miscommunication. Face-to-face communication ensures that the message is conveyed accurately and is not diluted due to communication process gaps.
4. Conflict Resolution
When you are involved in resolving a conflict in your workplace, it is necessary to ensure that the right message is conveyed so as to not aggravate the problem. Flood of mails and messages about problem resolution will not help clear the issue effectively.
It is important that you sit down with the person involved when you try to clear concerns or issues. Your body language and facial reactions total to about 55% of the total efforts that goes in the communication process and this effort is very important when you resolve conflicts.
5. Apologizing for errors
Most of the times when there is a mistake from our side, we tend to take the safe option of communicating through written communication so as not to face the opponent directly. But facing them directly will explain them the genuineness in your apology rather than the suspicion created by written messages. This kind of talks will also leave a trust in spite of the mistake that has been made. Your employer or client might even be happy and satisfied that you took the efforts and the time to explain to them directly about the mistake instead of just sending them a mail.
In spite of the many different kind of advanced communication methods, face-to-face communication can provide you an added personal touch and comfort level in your workplace defining your image in a professional way.