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Why face-to-face meetings are so important

How would you like to work in the sunshine, amongst century-old trees, and beside a babbling brook?

That is exactly what I did earlier this week. 

I facilitated an off-site for an executive team at a beautiful Inn located in the county. 

It was wonderful for so many reasons.

Firstly, I always love being in nature. Working in such an environment is inspiring. The creative juices were flowing, and everyone felt invigorated.

Secondly, I have to tell you that it was WONDERFUL to connect with other human beings in person! While I have successfully mastered fun, engaging, and interactive ZOOM sessions, this meeting reinforced the importance of face-to-face meetings. 

While hybrid workplaces are flexible and efficient, the reality is that nothing replaces face-to-face connections.  

It’s time that we gather again.

It’s time to meet face-to-face.

It’s time to connect with other human beings in person.

Not every day. 

Not even every month. 

Now is the time to build human bonds againBut now is the time to build human bonds once again. 

The research is there to corroborate my experience. 

In MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab, they spent hundreds of hours tracking performance drivers across industries. The results showed that the most valuable communication is done in person. In fact, face-to-face requests were 34X more effective than emailed ones.  

So, here are 12 practical reasons why face-to-face meetings are essential to business success:

  1. You capture a person’s full attention – they can’t multitask.
  2. Active listening is easier, so people feel heard and understood. 
  3. You can make tough business decisions that need to be made in person.
  4. People form bonds as they talk about things that matter to them (e.g., their favorite sports team, hobby, pet, or family life).
  5. You create empathy when you connect with someone in person.
  6. You forge partnerships that otherwise would not have come about
  7. You solve problems more effectively by sitting face-to-face with a colleague.
  8. Psychological safety occurs that allows people to feel more comfortable contributing to the discussion.
  9. Conversations are easier and flow more freely (without delays or unstable internet issues).
  10. You achieve both task and relationship-based goals.
  11. You can read body language more efficiently to assess buy-in.
  12. You have more fun and laugh a whole lot more (and that is good for the soul!).

In 1943, Abraham Maslow created Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. His research reinforces the fact that humans need belonging. We need relationships and social connections to thrive. 

Bottom line, you are in the people business, no matter your industry.

So, please book that in-person meeting.

It’s time to be together again.

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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