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Amanda Eldreth Posted by Amanda Eldreth on July 02, 2015

Get Off That Phone and Meet Face-to-Face!

Get Off That Phone and Meet Face-to-Face!

3 important reasons why a mobile call will never beat a face-to-face, in-person meeting.

I can still hear it now, ringing in my ears as if it was yesterday. My mom screaming at me in the car, at dinner, while shopping, doing my homework and before bed, “Get off of that damn phone.”

I know I’m not the only one who has heard that line a zillion times from a parent; in fact I heard it so much they eventually bought me a personalized t-shirt with it splashed across the front.

But enough about me and my adolescent ruminations...

Technology is pretty much a necessity of life, like food, shelter and water. We rely on it for darn near everything, especially our mobile phones. Today’s smartphones help us when we are lost,  connect us with family and friends, keep us updated on news and events and are essential in an emergency situation.

There’s no avoiding it — we are all connected in every way conceivable and have come to use our mobile devices as an extension of ourselves. And we don’t technically even have to meet in person anymore — with Skype, FaceTime, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Jabber and many other video call technologies, we connect visually to discuss pressing business or just to catch up, on any continent at any time of the day or night.

While travel used to be the only means, the technological alternative has saved businesses billions of dollars each year while still simulating the in-person meeting.

But what about for business interaction, for instance, a meeting with a potential client - is it appropriate then?

Why do we still insist on actual versus virtual meetings?

What’s wrong with our present state of codependency on real-time messaging, teleconferences and email?

As it turns out, there is still something technology can’t duplicate: the human element which is the foundation for all relationships in business and in life.

Building Trust

Even though meeting in-person is no longer a necessity, when you do come face-to-face it gives it a little something extra, don’t you think? Kind of like getting a handwritten letter in the mail, in-person meetings demonstrate that you are sincere and that you value the relationship enough to go that extra mile.

More often than not, businesses conceal themselves behind their connected devices — you have no idea who they are, or if they actually are concerned about your relationship. No matter how tech savvy you or your company may be, meeting face-to-face and looking someone in the eye is still the most effective way to convey your credibility, sincerity and confidence. How you comport yourself is oftentimes more important than what you say; it reveals who you really are and what you stand for.

Face-to-face meetings also cultivate effective communication. Not everyone has the ability to write emails that are detailed and understood, and even if they do, the people reading them can still interpret the information however they want.

The same can be said for phone calls. Most business calls concentrate only on resolving problems quickly and moving on rather than really listening and paying attention to what the person is saying. Face-to-face communication commands attention, shows you respect the other person, and most importantly, promotes trust.

Body Language

Nonverbal signals are essential to communication effectiveness. Unfortunately, when meeting via teleconference it is difficult to catch all of the body language indicators that express what the other person is thinking and feeling. We can’t always identify when a person on the phone has lost interest, is confused or wants to speak.

Stances, facial expressions and gestures are all a part of how successful your meeting will be — in-person meetings give you the advantage of recognizing specific cues before it’s too late.


Social interaction, and I don’t mean on Twitter or Facebook, allows people to communicate in the same language. When you get together face-to-face, you are developing a relationship and experience that you both will share. You now have a mutual bond with the other person which gives a sense of community.

This comradeship improves future communication as well. When you interact with someone on a social level, you encourage collaboration and teamwork because you now have a better understanding of that person. These elements don’t just vanish when you leave the meeting either, they build a foundation that can be critical during difficult times in your relationship.

Take the time to meet in-person to get the most out of your business relationships.

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