Face-to-Face vs. Virtual Meetings

24th Jan , 2020

“You will never see eye-to-eye if you never meet face-to-face.”

– Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

At International Business Mentors, we tend to strongly agree with Warren Buffet’s quote above, as meeting face-to-face is very important. However, the preferences for and effectiveness of meetings are evolving within the online virtual meeting space platforms. As people start to get used to those virtual environments, which are becoming closer to the experience of physical meetings, then our collective preferences will continue to adapt.

Virtual meetings have gained momentum and are now entrenched in everyday interactions. They continue to be enhanced by technological advances, making all manner of meetings, locally and globally, quick, easy and efficient. Yet many argue that the absence of human connection disconnects and can create interpersonal barriers or unneeded friction. At International Business Mentors, we have studied and looked at the various options for our own business mentoring and business coaching services. Our conclusion for our very personal and confidential services is that unless it is not feasible to do so (due to distance), business mentoring and business coaching is best done face-to-face.

The Rise of Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings have significantly changed the way organisations do business. In a wide range of organisations and businesses, there is no doubt that virtual meetings, where participants are at a distance from each other, are a valuable way to communicate. The technology can bring together people from around the globe in an effective visual and audio environment. Virtual meetings are cost-effective, immediate, do not require costly and time-consuming travel, and have a positive environmental impact. Avoidable air travel is a point of growing contention, so individuals and organisations wishing to help reduce climate change as part of their business growth strategies will wish to leave the smallest environmental footprints. Embracing more virtual meetings should help with this global issue.

However, there are some downside risks to using virtual meetings. For example, security is a constant challenge. When highly confidential commercial information is exchanged, there exists a risk of potential hacking or eavesdropping on meetings. Also, interpersonal relationships tend to be better fostered or enhanced with physical interaction, which suggests augmenting virtual meetings with some physical meetings might be beneficial.

Which is Best for Business Coaching?

At International Business Mentors, we match business people with a suitable business mentor or business coach who resides close enough for personal contact in regular mentoring meetings. Personal connection in this space is very important, as it helps to develop the working relationship and trust, which in turn enables confidential meetings to be fluid.

However, sometimes the preferred physical mentoring meetings are just not possible. We then focus on getting the mentoring relationship established by providing the best matched business mentor or business coach possible, who will work to establish the human connection between themselves and the mentee. What drives all of us in close relationships is our shared experiences, trust and working together to make progress, which in turn has a powerful impact on the shared relationship itself.

What About Conferences?

International conferences are an area where virtual meetings can be beneficial for a wide range of industries and businesses. The preference for conferences is still the personal connection to attend and to interact with presenters and other participants. However, virtual attendance is possible if distance is a problem, reducing the cost to participants. Conferences provide a platform for sharing ideas, peer-to-peer feedback, collaborations and setting agendas. The conference venues employ a vast number of people and inject funds into the host economy. They provide a forum for leaders with drive and vision which can shape their industries and provide a forecast for the future.

Contact International Business Mentors Today

As mentioned above, here at International Business Mentors, we believe that business mentoring and business coaching are best performed in a physical face-to-face setting that’s more confidential. However, virtual meetings can be useful when necessary as long as more care is taken to ensure the optimal relationship grows.

At International Business Mentors, we individually match business mentors and business coaches to business people, matching needed skills, background and experience plus the all-important personal fit. Our approach is needed to establish the relationships and add value from our tailored and professional confidential service.

Call International Business Mentors today to find out more about our business coaching and mentoring services.

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