Since moving back into the architectural consulting world, my first two months have been full of video conferences. The technology that is available today to connect with people all around the country, as well as globally, is amazing. The collaborative opportunity for design charrettes through shared desktops is mind-blowing. This technology is reducing travel costs and helping designers and consultants control time and expenses.
With all this high-tech connectivity, are we still truly connecting with people? Are we building relationships? Are we missing something in our human interactions? Call me old school. Call me old fashioned. Call me a skeptic. There is something meaningful in a handshake. There is something about eye contact that builds trust. Face to face interaction allows for transparency. It contributes to real relationships that matter.
Speaking of face to face opportunities, I am anticipating a fantastic strategic planning retreat for the SAGE board, where we will be in the same room for two days. The board normally meets electronically once a quarter, while the officers participate in monthly conference calls. This in-person opportunity will contribute significantly to relationship and trust building. The face-to-face collaboration will provide the board with ample time to get to know each other in deeper, more meaningful ways. I am confident the SAGE organization will benefit now and in the future because of this investment in time and energy.
How many of our client relationships could benefit from a renewed face-to-face encounter? How many of our employees would feel valued by sitting across the table over lunch, rather than receive a text or email? Do you remember those handwritten notes?
The next time you get ready to launch an email or hammer out a text, think about the benefits of a phone call or an appointment starting with a handshake. Your choice may just contribute to a deep, meaningful relationship for years to come.