Why You Are More Successful in Face-to-Face Meetings
Submit Articles Back to Articles
research by imago and Loughborough University School of Business and
Economics examined the favored forms of communication for learning new
skills, retaining important information and enhancing business success.
total of 779 respondents made up of conference and meeting organizers,
conference and meeting attendees, undergraduate and post-graduate
students, academics and lecturers participated in the interviews.
Findings from the research showed that meeting planners and students
shared the same preferences.
97% of meetings attendees cited small face-to-face meetings of fewer
than 10 participants as their preferred form of communication.
81%% of students echoed this preferences for smaller meetings.
Group interaction and discussion is considered the top benefit of
face-to-face communications by 78.4% of delegates and 69.4% of students.
On a scale of 0 to 100, delegates ranked engagement during face-to-face
meetings at an average of 85%, with students at 73%.
a body language perspective, here’s why you have more impact in
face-to-face meetings, our brains process the continual cascade of
nonverbal cues that we use as the basis for building trust and
professional intimacy. Face-to-face interaction is information-rich. We
interpret what people say to us only partially from the words they use.
We get most of the message (and all of the
emotional nuance behind the words) from vocal tone, pacing, facial
expressions and body language. And we rely on immediate feedback – the
instantaneous responses of others – to help us gauge how well our ideas
are being accepted.
People in face-to-face exchanges watch each others' expressions to
monitor reactions to what’s being said and heard. Even when some words
are missed, observing the expression on a speaker’s face can help the
listener follow a conversation. People remember much more of what they
see than what they hear -- which is one reason why you tend to be more
persuasive when you are both seen and heard. So potent is this
between individuals that, when we are in genuine rapport with someone,
we subconsciously match our body positions, movements, and even our
breathing rhythms with theirs. Most interesting, in face-to-face
encounters the brain's ”mirror neurons” (the neural mechanism that
fires when we perform an act or see another perform that same action)
mimic not just behaviors, but sensations and feelings as well.
beings are born with this innate capability. In fact our brains need
and expect these more primitive and significant channels of
information. When we are denied these interpersonal cues, the brain
struggles and communication suffers.
nonverbal component that comes solely with face-to-face encounters is
touch. Usually considered to be the most primitive and
essential form of communication, touch is so powerful and effective
that clinical studies at Mayo Clinic show that premature babies who are
stroked grow 40 percent faster than those who do not receive the same
amount of touching.
touch retains its power -- even with adults in business settings. A
study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that
people are twice as likely to remember you if you shake hands with them.
are programmed to feel closer to someone who’s touched us. The person
who touches also feels more connected. It’s a compelling force and even
momentary touching can create a human bond. A touch on the forearm that
lasts a mere 1/40 of a second can make the receiver not only feel
better but also see the giver as being kinder and warmer.
is crucial to your business success. If you want to be optimally
persuasive, effective and memorable, make that meeting face-to-face.
About the Author
Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an international keynote speaker and leadership
coach who specializes on the impact of body language to workplace
success. She is a leadership contributor for Forbes and
author of "The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help -
or Hurt - How You Lead.” She can be reached through her website: www.CarolKinseyGoman.com,
email: Carol@CarolKinseyGoman.com, or by phone: 1-510-526-1727.
Follow us @Scopulus_News