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DFF: ‘Personal relationships are essential in a digital age’

Face-to-face interaction is still important, even when electronic communication is so prevalent

Michael Benjamin, stratgeic head of sports at Lyle & Scott Drapers fashion forum 0928

Michael Benjamin, strategic head of sports at Lyle & Scott Drapers fashion forum 0928

Michael Benjamin, strategic head of sports at Lyle & Scott

Maintaining strong, personal working relationships is essential in today’s digital age, Michael Benjamin, strategic head of sports at Lyle & Scott, reminded delegates at the Drapers Fashion Forum in London yesterday.

“When I started my career, face-to-face interaction was a major part of how we did business but increasingly today people spend less time building relationships in person and more is done via digital methods,” he said.

“There are some old statistics that show 7% of understanding comes from the words that are said, 38% from how they are said and 55% is from body language. That level of understanding can be lost through email or instant messaging.”

He reaffirmed the need for face-to-face interaction in today’s fast-paced working environment and suggested that breakfast meetings with contacts or teams are a good way to establish deeper connections in the workplace.

“Sometimes I speak to some of the younger members of our team and say ‘just give them a ring’ and they will automatically go to send an email to a particular contact,” he said. “Spending more time gives you a better understanding of other people’s motivations, which in turn leads to a better business relationship.”

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