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Look Them in the Eye

Look Them in the Eye Image

Meeting In-Person Matters, Maybe More Than Ever

Over the past year, many, if not all our professional relationships have gone completely virtual. The days of shaking hands feel like a distant memory. In spite of the “I’m not a cat” memes and all-to-common refrain, “you’re on mute,” we are effectively videoconferencing experts now with our perfectly framed backgrounds and proper etiquette. Nevertheless, there simply is no substitute for the advantages of being able to look someone in the eye – in the same room – and having a conversation.

 

Nonverbal Communication

A considerable amount of human communication is non-verbal. There are nine nonverbal communication types that we pick up on when talking with someone. From obvious hand gestures to more subtle behaviors like body posture and movement, these nonverbal body language cues are often imperceptible or even offscreen during a videoconference. Maybe you missed the slight body stiffening when you bring up an idea or cannot see a foot tapping nervously as you plow through an uncomfortable topic. Non-verbal cues are key to understanding a person’s thoughts and reactions, providing information that is vital for any relationship, much less when discussing important items. The last thing you want, is to miss a physical signal when pitching a potential client.

 

Distraction Free Conversation

Being a conversationalist does not come easy for many and videoconferencing can often intensify the struggle to maintain a natural fluid conversation. We have all had that moment where you thought someone was done talking during a videoconference, only to find yourself interrupting them. There is nothing natural or beneficial about tripping over each other’s words due to lag. Other obstacles include background noise, distractions, interruptions and multitasking, that can divert focus of attendees from the meeting.  Throw in bad mics, speakers, and connection issues, and it is easy to understand why we often feel disconnected from the person on the other end of the camera. Meeting face-to-face in the same room solves all these problems, allowing conversation to flow freely without any technical or self-imposed distractions.

 

Trust & Loyalty

It is in our nature to want to meet and interact with the people we are doing business with. This is even more important when starting with a new client or work relationship. By meeting in person, not only are you proving yourself to be dedicated, but research shows that we are more inclined to believe what someone says when they are making eye contact. Research also indicates that people who make eye contact are often perceived to be more intelligent. Bottom line, being in the same room goes a long way towards gaining trust and building strong working relationships.

 

Meet Safely

Did you know that anyone can rent a meeting room by the hour at Hone Coworks?

Now that we have a better understanding of COVID-19 and the risks it poses, we are also better prepared to mitigate those risks. Here at Hone, rigorous health and safety protocols help to ensure our meeting rooms are safe spaces, including:

  • Meeting room surfaces including door handles are cleaned and sanitized prior to each scheduled meeting.
  • Prior to entering Hone, all guests must check in and complete a short daily safety questionnaire about symptoms and exposure risk.
  • Touchless coffee and beverage dispensers with disposable hot/cold cups and prepackaged snacks are available as part of your meeting room rental.
  • Members and visitors must wear a mask or face covering in common areas and meeting rooms.
  • Occupancy has been reduced in all meeting rooms to promote social distancing. As of the time of this article, the CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet apart.

 

Meeting In-Person (Safely) Makes a Difference

It is one of the reasons why the multiple meeting rooms are a popular amenity at Hone Coworks. Next time you need to schedule a meeting, consider reserving a conference room here at Hone. It’s time to look them in the eye.