Never before in the history of human communications have we had so many ways to keep in touch with each other. Telephone. email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Text messaging, Skype. The list goes on.
But all of these modes of communication have one drawback, and that is simply this: There is never any real substitute for good old face-to-face-sit-down-over-coffee-look-each-other-in-the-eye personal contact.
This is especially true when you are dealing with creative ideas – the conversation and observation that goes on can be one of the most complex forms of interaction. Modern forms of communication offer a great deal of convenience, but by the same token, they are ‘cold’ and lack the passion of a good old fashioned conversation.
People who have grown up with these less personal forms of communication and interaction may be comfortable with them, but that doesn’t mean that they are as effective as they should be.
According to the neuroscientists like, Dr. Thomas Lewis (http://www.thomaslewis.com/about8.html) of the University of California, we are fooling ourselves into thinking that text is even half as effective as face-to-face when it comes to communicating ideas and messages. We all are aware of the notion that most of the information we get in a face-to-face communication is NOT from the words themselves, but rather from body language, facial expression, and tone of voice.
We have never had to learn to process body language, facial expressions and tone of voice, we already know how to do this innately. But we had to spend years learning to read and write with any level of sophistication. The brain needs and expects these other, more significant, channels of information, and when they don’t come, both the brain and the communication suffer.
How Should We Communicate?
Take the time to have as many face-to-face meetings is necessary to understand both sides – what the client is looking for and what we’re offering. It’s also necessary in order to present the creative in a way that demonstrates, not only your capabilities and knowledge, but making sure the client clearly understands the scope and intent of everything being offered.
Because communication is a two-way street, face-to-face meetings are very helpful to clients, enabling them to provide first hand feedback, which in turn, can save them time and money in the long run, and make for a much more harmonious relationship.
Certainly, making use of many of the other more convenient forms of communication helps, because there are always ‘nuts and bolts’ processes that have to be managed after everyone is on board with an idea.
The science of communication and our own experience lead us to the conclusion that when you have something important or complex to communicate, there’s no better way than face-to-face.