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Is Face-to-Face Communication Being Phased Out?

June 07 2011

DotLoopTALKEverybody wants me to “Facebook” them, send an email or write a txt (intentionally misspelled).  However connected someone may be, face-to-face communication skills are still very important in business and in life. The right communication skills allow people to connect in a more meaningful and impactful way.
One of the many complaints about society today is the lack of personal communication skills and the preponderance of new media.  This complaint is often attributed to a generation adept to social media and mobile technology, but lack basic interpersonal skills. The problem with these “non” personal forms of communication is people rarely communicate honestly or with the tact they would in a face-to-face setting.
In business, if you want to sell more or be more persuasive, talking face to face is far more effective than shooting off an email, text message or power point presentation.  While these avenues of communication have made connecting more instantaneous, face-to-face interaction always trumps the rest.  Customers and potential leads are more inclined to do business with someone they can physically see and interact with.  It’s just human nature, and that should always be kept in mind when trying to persuade someone to do business.

As for complaints, it’s easy for people to act on anger when on the phone, over an email or through social media sites. Look at any site that allows comments and one typically finds a plethora of people using these forums as an outlet for anger.  However, if most of these people were presented with a face-to-face interaction, they would likely be less aggressive and more considerate in the words they use.  It’s human nature to be more pleasant when in the company of a real person as opposed to a computer screen or a handset.
If the goal is to make people aware of something, then Facebook and twitter are great places to post, because that’s where people browse for information.  But if there’s an ultimate goal of connecting in a business sense, face-to-face communication is always the best way.  Think of social media and other mobile communication as a launching point for future communication.
The idea of social media is to connect in order to build relationships.  Therefore, it’s a great venue for initial contact.  However, one eventually wants to build better relationships with people in order to further a business.  That’s why, regardless of how tech savvy an individual may be, the principles of face-to-face communication are still the most important.
Just a thought.

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