Face to Face



Social media have their place, but do not forget
to talk to each other face to face.

Social media are reducing the number of face-to-face
conversations. “In person” encounters allow a person
to speak while another responds spontaneously
without resorting to the more formal structure of
the written word.

Why do we seem to prefer Facebook/Twitter or emails
rather than meeting with someone to discuss issues?
The most obvious answer is that electronic media is
more effective and saves us time. Psychologists tell us
we find interacting with others through the computer
is easier because a computer does not require us to
become emotionally involved.

When to Meet Face to Face

Certainly there are situations when communicating via
social media is effective, such as when sending a quick
inquiry to a colleague. But when owner-managers need
to announce decisions that will have an emotional impact
and bring employee reaction, face-to-face meetings are
a must for the following reasons:

  • Face-to-face communication has incredible advantages
    since you receive an immediate response. If,
    on the other hand, you text someone and they do
    not respond, uncertainty prevails.
  • One-on-one proximity allows you to “read” the
    respondent’s reaction to the message. A shrug of
    the shoulders, a deep sigh, or an unexpected expletive
    are great indicators of the recipient’s acceptance
    or understanding of what has been said.
  • People need to be able to express how they feel
    about a project, a change in venue or a performance
    review. Face-to-face meetings allow each
    party to add a level of interpretation to the message
    by providing and reading body language,
    eye contact, or voice intonations. The meaning of
    words alone can often be misinterpreted. Receiving
    a text saying “The project is due next week.” sends
    a different message than someone who laughs and
    says “The project is due next week!” then rolls
    their eyes.
  • Talking face to face allows more
    effective negotiation.

  • Talking face to face allows each party to negotiate
    more effectively by immediately understanding the
    obstacles and opportunities that may not be easily
    understood by simply reading a progress report or
    a job description.
  • Communicating face to face provides each party
    a better opportunity to adjust their approach to
    ensure the end results are achieved. Interpreted
    another way, face-to-face interaction builds trust,
    creates understanding, and assists both parties to
    understand they share a mission for the project
    and the organization.
  • Face-to-face meetings force interactions, which
    in turn create new ideas and approaches that are
    essential to success. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer
    indicated in a memo:

    Some of the best decisions and insights come
    from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting
    new people, and impromptu team meetings.
    Speed and quality are often sacrificed
    when we work from home. We need to be one
    Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being

Meeting through Skype is a means of communicating
with remote jobsites. Surveys indicate employees like
Skype because it allows them to “get more done” as
they can handle one-on-one meetings without the
distractions of social graces. However, such methods
still disconnect the workers from each other and the
company and as such it is important for management
to instill the need to maintain one-on-one
personal contact.

Communicating face to face embraces the seven most
important elements of interpersonal communication by:

  1. clarifying expectations and purpose
  2. creating brief, unambiguous communication
  3. focusing all parties on a purpose
  4. setting a consistency of tone that allows individuals
    to understand the underlying pattern and seriousness
    of the message
  5. addressing all issues without the need to wait
    for additional instructions
  6. ensuring that all points relevant to both sides
    of the discussion are brought to the table and
  7. allowing both parties to measure the knowledge
    and competence of the other party.

Get Back to Personal Contact

Even though Twitter has lifted the 140 character limit
on messages, both owner-managers and employees must
recognize that regardless of the length of the message,
projects must be discussed face to face to generate the
best results possible for the company, the employee and
its customers.



The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.


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