Speak To People, Not Machines: How To Do Face To Face Communication
Contributed by Shirley Taylor February 1, 2018
In this era of Facebook, Twitter and email, crucial face to face communication skills have been lost or put aside indefinitely. There has been a sharp decline in face to face communication in favour of instant contact overload. Because of this, people are losing vital opportunities to connect.
Face-to-face communication can give some of the most enriching experiences. Human interaction allows you to relay the most information, keep you alert and allows you to truly connect with another person. This is an asset that is completely lost in instant communication.
Here are some tips to help you with your face-to-face interactions:
- Meet in person to establish real connections.
Email is fast, but it can be easily misinterpreted, leading to sticky situations. More information is relayed with face-to-face communication. Especially if there is a chance of conflict, meet in person to diffuse negative feelings and enforce the understanding that we all have emotions and can be sensitive to issues.
- Be aware of body language, facial expressions and eye contact.
Use these tools to your benefit. Visually convey interest, openness and attention. Watch the other person for visual subtitles, but be careful not to misinterpret.
- Keep your eye on the goal.
Social chit-chat is good, but don’t forget why you wanted to initiate communication in the first place. Use face-to-face contact to help you clarify your message. it allows you to make sure that the message is understood and well received.
- Make every conversation count.
Pay attention to the conversation and the people involved. You want to be able to walk away remembering what was discussed and feeling like the interaction was successful.
- Be real and sincere.
Be there in the present, not in your own head or, even worse, on your phone. Give the other speaker your full attention. Stay alert to speak with confidence and interest.
- Be sensitive to the other person’s time.
Do not spend 20 minutes when you asked for 10, and don’t sidestep around issues. Staying present will allow you to communicate clearly and contribute to a successful conversation.
- Be prepared.
Know what the issue is before you start. Know what you want the outcome of the conversation to be.
- Face-to-face communication is a collaboration.
Every communication involves give and take. Take the initiative to start face-to-face communication and give the other person your full attention.