I just returned from a trip to North Carolina for a family wedding. We took a few days’ vacation, but because I had an opportunity to mix in some business meetings, I did just that. Two of my meetings were with people I’d had phone contact with for months or even years. hat a difference a face-to-face conversation makes! I actually thought I was doing very well building relationships through email and social networks liked LinkedIn. I was wrong. In these cases, I didn’t manage to fully connect until we sat across from one another over coffee or a drink. It’s almost like the novelty value of an actual, handwritten letter, versus email or a junk envelope with a mailing label attached. For communicators, I think the lesson isn’t that social networking is ineffective, or that being tethered to the blackberry is wrong (although, for me, getting out from under e-mail is a huge boost to creative thinking.) It’s that we need to constantly re-evaluate how we communicate, and how we can best make a lasting connection.