Three years after I attended my first Carlsbad Chamber First Friday Breakfast (as a Chamber member), I am intuitively drawn to, and sense a connection with the handful of people that took the time to interact and speak with me that day. I instinctively remember them first, with a feeling of trust and comfortability. It’s almost as if they have purchased the top google search result in my mind.
Face-to-face meetings were not my default nor most desirable mode of communication. As a millennial who grew up with the internet, email, cell phones and social media, these things are second nature to me. And this is the case for many people, millennial or not, whose “default” may be digital. Even for those with an understanding of the value of face-to-face communication, the effort frequently falls by the wayside in our busy daily lives, ever more digitally connected.
But the value is obvious! By interacting with hundreds of businesses every week through phone calls, emails and in-person meetings, it is without fail that the people I meet with face-to-face somehow feel more connected. Wouldn’t it be great to find a way to be the number one search result in someone’s mind? Email and texts are probably not going to do the trick. Face-to-face meetings are the answer, and the reasoning is scientific.
According to a study by the Beijing Normal University published in The Journal of Neuroscience, face-to-face communication differs from other forms of communication in two key ways:
Face-to-face communication involves the integration of “multimodal sensory information,” such as nonverbal cues (facial expressions, gestures, etc.) Face-to-face communication involves more continuous turn-taking behaviors between partners, which has been shown to play a pivotal role in social interactions and reflects the level of involvement of a person in the communication.
A key takeaway from this is quality over quantity. There’s no need to run around shaking hands with hundreds of people a day. A couple of quality meetings where you are able to connect with another is all it takes. At the Chamber, there are many opportunities to do so that can fit into anyone’s schedule. Morning person? Try the First Friday Breakfast and Coffee Connection. Free time in the afternoon? ChamberPl8tes and the monthly Happy Hour 2.0 are for you. Or, if your schedule is too variable for the regularly scheduled events, take a minute to look at the Carlsbad Chamber directory and reach out to a fellow member with an introduction and offer to meet for a coffee. It takes surprising less time and effort than you may think to make a difference and the value of that facetime is priceless.
Kathleen Mandig is the Business Development Manager at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at [email protected]