Communication is one of the highly valued elements of any business, company, or workplace. Businesses have incorporated various channels of communication as a way of ensuring that workers can efficiently communicate amongst themselves as well as with customers. Such communication comes in handy in facilitating various operations within the business while generally promoting corporate efficiency.
Face-to-face communication is one of the often-utilized communication channels in the workplace. This channel of communication is preferred for its numerous advantages, and in spite of its various disadvantages.
Pros of face-to-face communication
1) Allows reading of body language
Face-to-face communication allows efficiency in channeling of information from the speaker to the listener. It allows the listener to not only hear information but also observe carefully on the speaker’s body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These visual cues generally improve the ability of two persons to effectively communicate with each other without missing a hint of the message.
2) Builds trust and transparency
Face-to-face meetings are normally effective in helping create trust and understanding between the parties communicating. This channel of communication is particularly important in businesses and in situations where important deals need to be made. Meeting face-to-face in the same room shows commitment, while dispelling any fears that may exist between the two parties. Bringing people together in a face-to-face meeting is also important as it creates an atmosphere of equality while eliminating any difference between leadership and power that high-ranking officials in the meeting may show.
3) Enhances productivity
Face-to-face communication is also important as it helps a company to boost productivity. Sharing of vital information during a one-on-one meeting in a boardroom gives attendants a vital opportunity to brainstorm over a task without the limitations and confines of time. This is as opposed to channels of communication such as phone-based conversations or even videoconferencing where meetings may be cut short as a way of reducing on communication costs.
4) Allows discussion and conclusions
Face-to-face meetings are normally highly effective as they allow for attendants to brainstorm together in productive discussions and constructive arguments. The likelihood of concluding the meeting with meaningful findings is therefore quite high. In cases, therefore, where a company needs to boost its ability to make resolutions, having a face-to-face meeting would ensure productivity and value for time invested in the meeting.
Cons of face-to-face communication
1) Finding appropriate time
Face-to-face communication can be disadvantages in situations where a large organization needs to convoke leaders from all branches. Finding common time for such leaders to meet for a face-to-face meeting may be too challenging, especially given the tight itinerary that each leader or manager has.
2) Cost of facilitating a meeting
The cost that goes into facilitating a meeting in a large organization with distant branches can be quite high. Mediating a face-to-face meeting would require each attendant to spend money flying from one destination to another just to attend a meeting. Whereas the cost may not be much of a concern in a large organization with significant revenue, having two or three meetings every month would prove to be a logistical nightmare that may increase operational costs.
3) Ineffective in large meetings
In situations where face-to-face meetings are comprised of large numbers of persons in attendance, it is easy for communication to be grossly hindered. Large meetings can be quite boring, especially in situations where a single person talks for hours. The larger the meeting size, the more ineffective communication becomes because attendants easily lose their concentration.
In conclusion, face-to-face communication is perhaps the most preferred channel of communication in the workplace. It is highly preferred for being effective with ensuring accurate passage of information while giving the listener an opportunity to seek instant clarification. In addition, it enhances productivity while increasing trust between attendees. However it is highly prone to various communication barriers especially in situations where the meeting size is too large.