Ten Advantages of Face-to-Face Exchange

Published: August 24, 2017

It’s easier than ever to conduct business without ever coming face-to-face with another human being. Smartphones, video conferences, texts, emails, and any number of social media platforms have made it possible to communicate from afar. There’s safety in not having to worry about pace, tone, mood, posture, body language, and eye contact.

In some circles, direct exchange has become extinct. Those who master the art of live conversation possess a rare commodity. They enjoy many advantages that disappear when the option to go electronic hijacks the message. Consider these ten basic competencies:

  1. Gauging the level of engagement or distraction.
  2. Assessing the cause of blushing, sweating, or tearfulness.
  3. Evaluating the assertiveness of gestures.
  4. Sensing comfort or discomfort.
  5. Reacting to a shift in energy.
  6. Changing physical proximity.
  7. Managing depth and duration of eye contact.
  8. Paying attention to appearance.
  9. Finessing strategic pauses.
  10. Measuring discrepancy between spoken words and facial expression.

These hallmarks of emotional intelligence have exponential benefit when applied to a team. There is always more going on in the room than the teammate who happens to be speaking. The listeners and observers are contributing important messages either actively or passively. Make sure to employ all your senses. Often, it is what is not being said that speaks loudest.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst College where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.