In this age of technology and ever present communication mediums, the idea of taking the time to have an in-person, real life face to face meeting can seem dated, time consuming and antiquated. And indeed for many of the communications we have phone, email, IM or even a text message can suffice.
However for the sake of brevity, the impact and effectiveness of a physical face to face meeting should not be lost. For those who have been to any communication workshop or NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) seminar you will have no doubt heard the now famous ‘93% of what you communicate is non-verbal’.
What many don’t realise is this statement is a misnomer. The original communication studies didn’t show that 7% of communication was the words, 34% the tone and 59% body language as commonly believed. The original studies showed that whengiven the relative choice, 59% of people put more faith in the expressed body language when compared to tonality or the actual words used (and 34% the tone and 7% believed the words over tone or body language). What does this mean for us in the business world?
Well simply put, in the vast majority of the time in our communication efforts we are negating the more persuasive and influential tools we have by relying on email / phone interactions. If you think about this for a moment, you know it to be intuitively true. In many cases what gets a deal across the line or an agreement struck is one (or both) parties arriving at a certain level of confidence or certainty that what is being put forward can be delivered on. The most impactful tool we have to convey certaintyand credibility is our body language. An email can be well written, a phone call can be done with a confident tone but a meeting with confident and certain body language can often be the ‘thing’ that gets the deal done.
Something to consider when the automatic thought you have is ‘can’t we just send an email…’