How Important is the Human Connection in Building Trust?

African businessman shaking hands with a caucasian one

Time is of the essence these days. We’re thinking how can we cut costs and make things more efficient. One of the ways a company does this is by using teleconferencing services to connect team members from various physical locations. But, how effective is this really?

My guess is that it’s taking a lot longer to build trust in the group, if at all. Like emails, it’s difficult to assess the intention of the communication. While you get tone of voice, you don’t see body language to see if they understood, are in support or even if they are even listening.

We all know that when trust isn’t present, business slows down or stops – especially when dealing with internal team dynamics. When team members don’t trust they are less likely to agree with one another or to support each other’s initiatives and conflict often ensues.

Humans are social beings who build trust more quickly in person. When we meet someone face-to-face, we’re able to assess (within .07 seconds) whether they are a friend or foe. This is through the energy fields, which science has now identified we can sense each other’s energy fields within 10 feet of each other. We can also see and experience body language and other nuances not available on a telephone call. This enables trust because we can see and feel how consistent they are with their words, body language and actions.

The ultimate way to build trust is to have face-to-face meetings when possible. Travel can be expensive however the creativity and effectiveness of a team that’s on the same page will provide dividends. Even if you can provide an in-person meeting once a year, you’ll see the benefits in terms of trust.

Alternatively, consider investing in an online platform that allows you to see all the team members on the call. Skype has this functionality (and it’s free). Zoom is another great platform that you can video chat – then you see the other person, and can garner more of the non-verbal conversation and when they are consistent, you’re more likely to build trust.

Let’s get back to the basics of human connection where possible. Imagine rather than texting or emailing, simply connecting via a format that allows you to see each other – rather than the 10 emails to discuss something; one conversation can go a long way in both of you getting on the same page. I suggest the human connection is the best way to build trust, and in the long-term saves costs.

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