When you have a conversation over the phone, do you sometimes wonder what information is being lost in translation? When we meet with someone in person, we can gain understand from body language and visual cues. Most would agree that when visuals are lacking and we are only listening to a voice at the other end of the line, we are at a disadvantage. This disadvantage can be tolerated when having a casual conversation with a friend or relative, but in a business setting it can be deadly.
As an example, we have an international client whose way of communicating is quite different from ours. One of our executives had to hold an important meeting with this client over audio conference instead of video. He later discovered that when the client had said “yes” during the meeting he actually meant “no”- a costly misunderstanding that would not have occurred had our executive been able to see the other party face-to-face, and determine his true feelings.