With the advent of virtual meetings via Skype, Cisco conferencing, etc…, some meeting planners proclaimed the day of Face to Face (F2F) meetings has gone the way of the Dodo bird! In other words extinct! And for a while, lots of evidence was out their supporting that theory. But like most things that have to do with any change, especially when it’s connected to new technology, there has been a swing back to what has been traditionally most effective for business communication, face to face meetings.
Relationship building has been the #1 outcome requested from our team building clients lately. These team building experiences have become the glue that emotionally bond work teams together and help them create a solid foundation of relationship and trust. Most of the organizations that work with us say the same thing, our people work virtually on almost all projects and they need face to face time to re-establish a connection with each other. And because that face to face time is limited by busy schedules, they are always looking for more organized and effective team experiences that go way beyond the old time cocktail mingling or brief meal conversation “catch-up”.
Below is a great article that I found in SpeakerNet News by a colleague, Ian Percy who also speaks on team building in the workplace. Here are some of his thoughts on the subject of virtual meetings vs. Face to Face meetings:
Creativity research finds F2F trumps virtual meetings — Ian Percy
The idea of working virtually and not having to actually meet people is quite popular, if controversial, these days prompted by Yahoo’s banning of virtual work. MeetingsNet had an interesting article suggesting that F2F generates significantly more creativity than virtual connections. Maybe Yahoo’s Marissa Meyer is right since the company’s future depends on innovation. In the experiment people were given various creative tasks but some worked together over the phone, some by video and some face-to-face. The two virtual groups were the same when it came to the number of creative ideas generated. However the F2F pairings had 30% more ideas. When it came to the quality of the creativity the F2F groups again scored better but just below a level of significance.
Here’s what’s interesting—all participants reported about the same level of “feeling” and “enthusiasm.” In other words the researchers don’t know why F2F works better. That would make for an interesting discussion—a F2F one, of course. Personally I think it’s due to the influence of subtle energy that most people have yet to accommodate in their thinking. All of the trials happened in the same physical location which means the energy was pervasive and co-mingled. I predict much greater differences if the virtual trial partners were actually spread out across the country instead of in the next room. The lesson is to not be so quick to go the virtual route, especially if the outcome is mission-critical.
Filed under: communication, leadership, team potential, teamwork | Tagged: communication, corporate team building, employee motivation, F2F meetings, Face to Face meetings, leadership, vitual meetings | Leave a Comment »