Email and written notes are overused and can be destructive to productivity. You’re looking at a screen so often that it’s easy to brush aside an email. It’s also easy to brush aside anything written, be it email or notes. When they’re just words on paper or on a screen, they seem impersonal and seem to matter less. They’re just words.
That’s why, whenever possible, it’s important that you as a leader have face-to-face discussions with someone to communicate an idea, a feeling, or anything else you deem important and needs to be remembered.
But it’s hard to find the time for all of that. Of course, you can’t have face-to-face discussions for everything – there isn’t time for that! Still, you should do it as often as you can. Here are some tips for maximizing your opportunities to communicate ideas face-to-face.
Keep a List
Keep a list of items you’d normally email out to people. Then, at your weekly meeting, dedicate some time to going through each of the items on that list in person instead of wasting time sending the information by email.
When your employees hear these things directly through you, they’re much more likely to prioritize them. What feels more memorable; one email among the many you get every day or a face-to-face reminder from your boss about it?
Use Video Chat
One vital tool for communicating face-to-face nowadays is through video chat. It’s fantastic for building relationships with people who are both near and far away – far better than email. These days, there are so many ways to do it as well. There’s Zoom, Facetime, GoogleMeets, and tons more.
If you can get a prospective client on a call using video chat, it’s much easier to build a relationship with them and close the deal.
When you can’t see people in person, or if they’re working remotely, don’t resort to email as if it’s the only option. You can use video chat for so many things in your business. You can use it to coach and mentor people, interact with clients, and communicate ideas with your employees. Not to mention, video calling is free! That is especially great when you have employees working from different countries. No need for expensive phone bills.
Be careful of buying into the lie and deception that ‘email can save time communicating.’ It’s not unknown for disasters to occur over a misunderstood email. Many companies fold because email became their main source of communicating, stripping them bare of culture, trust, and human connection.
Encourage Your Employees to do the Same
Get your employees to communicate with each other face-to-face whenever they can rather than just communicating through email. When your employees interact face-to-face it helps to build company culture as well as encourages a better work ethic. Your work feels so much more important when there are real people attached to it and relying on you.
“Building connections with colleagues ensures that employees feel part of something. Even a quick conversation at lunch can help staff feel closer to their colleagues, more comfortable, and therefore more engaged in their work.” – Work Life
Don’t be one of those companies! Dedicate the time to do things face-to-face, be it in person or on video chat. It’s definitely worth it in the long run.
Do you communicate face-to-face with your employees often? Do you think that helps your business? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2010 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.