Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Munich for three meetings. I’ll be meeting a partner of me, the seller of a very exciting business, and a potential business partner.
In theory, all of this could be done through a video call. In reality not so much.
While video calls are great for efficiently working through some relevant points, they are awful for building human relationships.
Video and phone calls often work great for the initial contact. They also work to efficiently discuss through relevant points to get some work done. But to build relationships, video calls simply don’t work.
Shaking hands, sharing a laughter, having a coffee or beer, meeting for dinner, hugging each other after a long time one has not seen each other. This is what life is about and what Zoom cannot offer you.
Over my life, the only lasting and true relationships were built in person. Often a few intense hours spent together with another person will build such a strong relationship that even if you don’t see this person for 5 years, as soon you meet this person again the 5 years passed will feel like 5 days.
It is not so much about the time you simply see someone in person but the quality of time you spend together. For example: I think for business meetings it mostly doesn’t matter whether they are in person or virtual. Why? Because the magic happens before and afterward. While getting a coffee together or while ending the day in a nice Italian restaurant and a wine. You might forget about the business meeting – but the bonding that takes place in the after hours are priceless.
That’s why I think every amount of money spend on meeting relevant and important people in person is worth it a hundredfold.
Not only because it builds deeper relationships, but because it makes life worth living.