Why is face-to-face communication important?


Quick Answer

Face-to-face communication is important because it's arguably the most personal, direct form of communication. Emailing and texting, while both quick means of transmitting thoughts, don't really convey to the recipients how important they are, and they aren't the best forms of communication to discuss sensitive issues. They're modes that depend on the recipients interpreting the meaning and intent of the sender, which can lead to miscommunication.

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Full Answer

Face-to-face communication provides visual cues that are absent in other forms of communication. The listeners can see the speaker's eye movements, hand gestures, smile or frown, posture and even the bead of sweat dripping from the speaker's forehead and be moved in a way that they couldn't have been otherwise. The speaker also gets to see the reactions from the listeners and can make adjustments in volume, tone or tempo in order to engage the listeners.

Not everyone's adept at writing, which gives face-to-face an advantage in putting across ideas. It is also more efficient. Digital forms of communication like email depend on the sender waiting until the recipient receives the message, then opens and responds to it. Unanswered questions or confusion can lead to a lengthy back-and-forth exchange that could've been resolved faster via a face-to-face meeting.

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