The rise of digital meeting tools has sparked the debate between face to face and virtual meetings. There is no clean cut verdict on which type of meeting is better, but rather they both offer their own advantages and disadvantages. The important thing is to identify the appropriate type of meeting given the situation. The way that two parties choose to collaborate, namely via in person or virtual meetings, has a major effect on how productive the engagement is.
Certain topics require a more intimate meeting where the focus needs to be on the discussion occurring within the walls of the room whereas other things require more informal quick conversations often times over long distances. A recent Fast Company article outlines some of the benefits of face to face meetings such as gaining trust, paying more attention, and picking up hidden messages which all fit nicely into encounters where the discussion is centered around initial meetings, project proposals, or portions of projects that require more abstract thinking. In person meetings allow attendees to express themselves through things one doesn’t get with virtual meetings such as body language and facial expression. Being able to shake hands with a person has a profound effect on this cultivation of trust.
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