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Do you still believe in face to face communication?

I most certainly do and today I went to a network meeting through Bexley council B2B event. I saw familiar faces but also had the pleasure to meet other new entrepreneurs all running their businesses in the Bexley borough.

We could have checked each other out on the internet, Face booked, linked in, twittered, Instagram or just emailed if a list was sent out to us. But we got to meet the person we would deal with if the two business had a connection. In addition, we had three speakers all offering their time to share helpful information to local companies.

I was pleasantly surprised by one of our speakers Keye Oduneye who gave us a talk on digital presence. I thought this will be about how we should embrace all social media and take on every single one available spend our time tied to the computer. Fascinating session with lots of helpful advice. What did resonate with me was that he was very insistent that communication with people in person is very important and this is a notion I share.

I think about the training I have offered and delivered over the years. Yes, some could go on line, but it is not a substitute for being around the people. dynamics, exploration and discovery all shape the learning experience for the individual and the outcome. Training is not about a tick box or choose A, B or C it’s about the whole learning and understanding plus the experience.

Often, and I am sure any trainer would agree with me that even though you spend hours preparing your lesson plan sometimes due to the clientele you do adapt your session whilst delivering and this is often due to the levels of learners. I always train blind I do not know the people before I enter the room. This is what I love about being a trainer, every session is different and the training I offer is valid as it is tailored to the participants needs and not just a ticking a box. This can only be achieved in person talking to them.

So, can technology take away the communication skills of the trainer? N I would say NO. Many courses may give you a certificate on line, but do they give the true understanding of the subject and extended learning at the time? Technology is good and has opened a world of opportunities other wise not available. It cannot replace talking, listening, understanding and offering alternative and answers at the time.

What do we need:

We need to realise that not all can be done via internet or social media it is important to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the two parties and this can be a mixture of keeping communication open via various methods but also understanding that trust is build on meeting people. I never connect with people unless there is a face to the name.

Skills required to communicate and connect:

  • Know something about your customer- listen and learn to ensure you offer them the information they need

  • Research their company and ideals and how you can work together – what do you have the customer will want

  • Meet in person : handshakes, speech, verbal expressions all help to build a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship

  • Show you can communicate with others and build professional friendships

  • Listen, and learn from the training experience and adapt where necessary.

  • A passion for what you do

Is there an outcome:

Spending time with others lends itself for you to personally connect. This not only gives you time to share your knowledge you can learn from them as we did this morning. Whilst they are not your work colleagues they become a very valuable associate who you are able to connect with or share with others that may benefit from their skills. It is also very good for people’s mental wellbeing to not feel isolated but have a host of associates to connect with.

Project Action London offers training sessions on communication and customer experience. Today was a reinforcement that it is an integral part of our life’s. Whether it is in business or personal life we must not loose the skills to communicate person to person

Thank you to the speakers today:

  • Mr Adekey Oduneye: Digital presence

  • Gary parker (CNT Associates)- Funding opportunities

  • Yemisit Rotimi (Capworth consulting) on cash flow and businesses

Also, Bexley council for putting on the event sponsored by Orbit housing and Abbey wood station mini cabs

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