Despite the growth of online communication, face-to-face interaction still ranks as the most effective form of communication in the business world. A study by KHR Solutions in early 2010 found that 56 percent of those responding preferred face-to-face communication with their managers and supervisors, and more than half preferred face-to-face communication with peers.
The biggest benefit of face-to-face communication is that it's personal. Think about the interactions that you have with others and the differences between the interactions that take place over the phone or online--and those that take place in person. When we interact with others one on one it's easier to form a bond or connection. In business settings, managers who make an effort to communicate with employees face-to-face can build strong relationships and enhance trust.
Face-to-face communication offers benefits that other types of communication (e.g., email or phone) cannot. When we communicate face-to-face we are able to pick up on nonverbal cues that we might otherwise miss. Email can be easily misinterpreted, whereas nonverbal cues such as smiling, nodding, folding arms, frowning, and a host of other signals add meaning to our conversations.
Dialogue Among Many
Department meetings, town hall or company-wide meetings and forums allow for interaction between many people at the same time. Face-to-face communication settings permit dialogue and discussion more than other forms of communication, in large part because of the ability to see and interact with members of the group.