As tempting as it may be to send out a detailed email regarding a difficult topic in the workplace, it’s often far better to have a face to face meeting in a majority of circumstances.

Email certainly has its uses but isn’t particularly effective for challenging conversations, such as discussions relating to conflicts or personal performance issues.

Difficult conversations training programs will often emphasize the importance of face to face meetings for any challenging topics that need to be discussed. These advantages can go a long way in helping you manage any potential difficult conversations or conflicts in the workplace:

Allows you to demonstrate sincerity and body language

It’s hard to demonstrate how serious you are regarding any challenging topic through the written word alone.

Although you can clarify specifics through email and use it as a form of record keeping, meeting in person allows you to demonstrate your sincerity with the message you are trying to communicate.

The other party will also see the honesty in your body language and your points will be received much more effectively. On the other hand, you will also be able to see their body language and verbal responses to what you are communicating, which can tell you much more than a simple email reply.

Your coworkers will appreciate it and respect you more

It’s too easy to fire off an email after a few minutes of writing out your feelings; doing this too often can give the impression that you aren’t serious about being involved in the workplace and dealing with difficult situations head-on.

Your coworkers will sincerely appreciate it if you invite them for a face to face meeting, particularly for a challenging topic, as it shows that you are serious about what you are communicating and that you are willing to spend the time needed to work out any issue of concern.

Build relationships in your workplace

It’s difficult to build authentic relationships with your coworkers if they only know you from memos and emails.

Having meetings in person helps to build a real sense of community and gives employees the opportunity to know you on a more personal level – which can go a long way in building and maintaining a positive and motivated environment.

When discussing serious or challenging topics, face to face meetings give executives the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to problem resolution, even when their schedules are busy and time is limited.

Develop two-way communication

Workplace communications regarding challenging topics are often one-sided and neglect what can be highly valuable insights from employees.

Face to face meetings give employees the chance to reply directly and air out their concerns, and they allow two-way communication to develop, which is essential to a healthy workplace.

During these meetings, employees can share valid insights or suggestions and pass them directly to supervisors and those who can make positive changes to the corporate culture to benefit everyone.

The Stitt Feld Handy Group offers a variety of difficult conversations training programs that incorporate planned face to face meetings among other techniques to deal with a variety of challenges that frequently arise in workplaces.

Contact the Stitt Feld Handy Group at or call 1-416-307-0000 to learn more about these programs and our other communications courses.