Imagine this: an old friend of yours is crowdfunding her new short film, and she reaches out in hopes that you’ll contribute to her project. Would you be more likely to donate if she sent you an email or if she asked you in person over coffee? It turns out that a face-to-face request is 34 times more successful than an email. So, why does in-person make such a difference? Face-to-face conversations create space for nonverbal cues, true emotion, and overall more clear, concise communication. When you meet with your friend, it’s evident how much this film matters to her. In person, you can see how compelled she is—whereas a written request is typically more casual.
Oh, and did we mention that face-to-face
communication is good for your health too?
Susan Pinker, author of The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Happier, has done extensive research on the effects of socialization vs. solitude. She writes, “In a short evolutionary time, we have changed from group-living primates skilled at reading each other’s every gesture and intention to a solitary species, each one of us preoccupied with our own screen.” Face-to-face interaction is proven to boost our immune system, send positive hormones surging through our bloodstream and brain, and help us live longer. “Neglecting to keep in close contact with people who are important to you is at least as dangerous to your health as a pack-a-day cigarette habit, hypertension, or obesity.”
Real connection and real empathy require
meeting real people in a real space in real time.
In our modern digital age, technology has changed the way we work, meet, and communicate. It is often difficult on social media to reveal the qualities that define deep, intimate relationships. Social media is great for prompting conversation, but it doesn’t breed true connection like in-person communication does.
Face-to-face connection helps build collaborative environments that inspire employees to participate in meetings and brainstorming sessions. Collaboration supports engagement and innovation, which is important for employee satisfaction as well as company culture and growth. Fostering community is developed through frequent interaction and socializing, which sets the foundation for trust & working relationships.
When it comes to relationships, our electronic devices can give us the illusion of intimacy without the hormonal rush of the real deal. Now that you know the critical impact of face-to-face communication, take action. Find someone new and connect with them in the workplace today. Face-to-face is the real deal.