Many of us know that meeting in person is preferable to meeting over a screen. The feeling of community that comes from simply being in a room with other people is not something you can replicate, as we discovered over the course of the pandemic. Most of us were forced to find alternative ways to meet with friends, colleagues and business partners over the last couple of years and we all felt the toll. But do we know why it is so much better to meet in person? What makes face-to-face meetings so much more impactful than any other form of meeting?
In-person creates intimacy
Many of us can recall Zoom meetings where we zoned out and perhaps missed much of the meeting due to what we may have perceived as boredom. But perhaps it was more than that. Research has found that lack of intimacy creates lack of interest, and remote meetings do not provide us with that intimate connection.
In-person meetings provide a sense of intimacy, connection and empathy that is difficult to replicate via video. It’s much easier to ask for attentive listening and presence, which creates the psychological safety that people need to sense in order to engage and participate fully.Paul Axtell, corporate trainer and author of the book Meetings Matter.
In-person meetings create connection
There is something special about meeting in person. You are able to form connections with people in ways that feel impossible over a screen. As Groundwork member Von Marie says,
In person you get that real connection with someone; you’re able to see a person’s true, authentic personality. You can build stronger relationships and stronger bonds when meeting in person.
What we lack when meeting over a screen is hard to explain, as it pertains to that feeling you get about someone when you are in their presence. As Von mentioned, “the true, authentic” self and personality is often something one can only fully witness when meeting face-to-face.
In-person meetings aid clear communication
When we meet in person, we are able to see more of each other, pay attention to non-verbal cues, and listen attentively. All of these things create stronger communication. And stronger communication leads to better outcomes in all ways, be it in a business or personal environment. There is something unique about the experience of being able to speak to someone face-to-face and express your thoughts and ideas in that way. You feel more heard, seen, and therefore, more valued. If you, like so many of us, have missed the face-to-face meetings, a great way to start having more in-person engagement is by joining a coworking space.