Heidi Bayer 2014-09-03 01:26:35
#HandshakesMatter The new millennium is marked by many changes, but the exponential increase in the use of technology and its impact on communication is at the forefront of this evolution. For many business people, gone are the days of routine, in-person meetings, handshakes and personal notes. In their place are texts, emails and videoconferencing. Yet at the base of all human interaction remains one element - people! Human nature at its core is about social interaction and building personal relationships. This carries over to the workplace and the professional lives we naturally try to cultivate. There are myriad fundamental elements that stem from face-to-face interactions, including the ability to build trust, create positive emotions and deepen relationships. In the workplace, these are vital to building greater success. All businesses have the same goal to grow and to have people believe in their services or products. To achieve these goals, they need to believe in you and there is no mode of technology that can replace all the benefits of a face-to-face exchange. Molecular biologist, John Medina, quoted in Susan Adams’ “Being There” in Forbes magazine states, "people send a range of sensory information that the brain can pick up only in person." For example, we all know the importance of body language and eye contact; they are paramount to communication and say more than words alone. Being able to read a person comes from interacting directly. Faceto- face you can more easily sense confidence, sincerity and kindness and as studied by behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, also quoted in “Being There,” "When we meet someone in person, we're much more likely to take the next step with them." These types of interactions simply offer a significant competitive edge that is lost in written communications, such as emails and texts, and people naturally share more in person, allowing you to get to know one another better and learn important information they may otherwise omit if at their office or on a call. Subtle nuances are lost, even with telepresence, like Skype, where Medina further explains, "participants don't naturally gaze into the camera" and when participating through these mediums people are more likely distracted, browsing the Web, looking at emails and using their cellphones. An industry, such as recruiting, offers a great example of the lost art of the personal touch. Years ago, knowing a good recruiter was viewed as a benefit; he or she was available to potential candidates to provide valuable insight into their industry, to advise them when it's time to leverage their career and to understand their needs when making that move. Likewise, recruiters knew their clients (the employers) and at the very least, had met them in-person before starting to send them possible candidates. Certainly, this is not always the case and some recruiters continue to strive for more personal relationships, but now the industry is inundated by individuals just looking to feed the bottom line and like so many businesses, has become focused on quantity instead of quality. All that's needed is a phone and a computer and they're in business, but can technology ever replace the impact of a truly personal, face-to-face connection? Of course, some would argue there is a more efficient way to do business and that personal interactions don't need to be in person. Tulsi Parida, author of “Can Personal Interaction and Technology Co-Exist?” in CFSI believes, "personal interaction to simply be a one-on-one direct line of communication," whether it is in-person, over the phone or via email. She further concludes technology and personal interaction cannot only coexist, but that it is necessary to use technology to facilitate personal interaction in today's society. I don't think there's an argument that using technology isn't essential in today's world, but I cannot count the times a candidate thanked me for taking the time to meet him or her in person or a client was pleasantly surprised when I asked to briefly tour their business or firm to get a better feel for their culture. So while there is certainly value in finding a balance, the biggest asset you have is yourself and hence, meeting face-to-face you can generally glean the most information, build stronger, more meaningful relationships and hopefully achieve the most long-lasting results. Yes, 15 phone calls can be made in the hour you spend cultivating one relationship in person, but is this really more rewarding? It may come down to one's personal view of success, but technology can never replace the power of a deeper connection that only meeting in person can create. Heidi Bayer is the owner and an executive recruiter for HGB Professional Recruiting Solutions. She has over 10 years of experience in business development, client relations and hiring. With years as VP of operations for both the Better Business Bureau and Capital Legal Services, she knows the challenges of finding the right person for a team and how the right position within an organization brings out the best in an employee. Ms. Bayer moved to Arizona from Toronto, Canada in 2001 after completing her law degree. For more information, visit www.HGBRecruiting.com or call (602) 765-4376.
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