At an executive level, travel is par for the course. Many, mostly larger, organisations may have access to state of the art technology which aids the communication process but the general consensus is that this doesn’t replace the impact and value of face-to-face meetings. Although there may be a cost in terms of time and money, this tends to be outweighed by the efficiency, effectiveness and engagement achieved in face to face meetings that cannot be reached to the same extent over a Skype or conference call.
How often have you sent or received an e-mail where it has been received in a different context to which it was intended? Meeting in person helps to eradicate misinterpretations. One of the reasons for this is body language. Important forms of communication such as facial expressions and body posture are lost on a conference call and it’s rarely just about what you said, but rather how you said it and your demeanour when saying it.
More than ever, executives in global organisations are working through a larger workload under increasing time constraints and at a faster pace. Face to face meetings may seem so inefficient when we have invested so heavily in more efficient technologies. These technologies are fantastic and I use them myself every day, but so far there has been nothing that can quite match a meeting in terms of effectiveness. Striking that balance between effectiveness and efficiency is the modus operandi of our executives today. Let’s just hope that our hunger for use of technology doesn’t drive us toward efficient ineffectiveness!