This past weekend I traveled to Chicago to attend eCom Chicago 2015 as a sponsor. Truth be told, I would have gone as an attendee too. There
was an excellent line up of speakers, 200 attendees, and lots of face-to-face networking. In today's society, we are connected electronically to all corners of the world. The increased global connection makes communication easier, but it's on a different level than face-to-face interactions. Just because we can talk to anyone anywhere in the world doesn't mean it's always effective communication.
Events like eCom Chicago or attending my local meetup remind me of the importance of face-to-face interaction. Face-to-face meetings allow for a deeper connection between all parties involved. Apps like Google Hangout and Skype allow us to see other people's faces online, but they don't allow us to fully experience the connections made while sitting down with someone. Why?
- You're not getting the full picture – While you can still see someone's facial expressions you can't see their body language. Both are used to understand or “read” how a person is feeling about a conversation or situation that they find themselves in.
- Unseen distractions – Our digital world is riddled with distractions. Buzzing smartphones, Facebook notifications, email, and the list goes on. If you are having a conversation via Skype you may be more tempted to hop over to email or check that pesky notification on Facebook limiting the effectiveness of your conversation. When you are having a face-to-face conversation it is considered rude to pay attention to those distractions.
- Shared experience – Our senses also play an important role in interactions with others. Fire sirens, the smell of coffee, the sight of something positive can all change the course of a conversation. If only one person is experiencing those sensations it can alter their connection with the conversation.
When is the last time you found yourself in a face-to-face conversation with someone? I work from home and spend a large chunk of time in my office by myself. Recently I realized that I thrive on connections and am now seeking out face-to-face interactions. Part of my reason for seeking out interactions is my extroverted nature. The other part is my desire to grow and change as a business owner and person.
If you are looking to grow your business or reach a milestone in your personal life, I highly recommend connecting with one or more people face-to-face on a regular basis. It will give you external motivation and a less filtered connection. I challenge you to find someone to interact with face-to-face in the next week that will help you move you forward in one or more aspects of your life.
Yesterday, when I was on Periscope I touched on networking. Later today I'll be jumping on again to discuss this topic in more detail. If you haven't downloaded Periscope [ iOS | Android ] to your smartphone or other mobile device (iPad, tablet, etc), make sure you do it before 2:30pm EDT so you're ready to ask your questions. You can follow me @amy_feierman. See you there!
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