'Talking on the phone is only one step up from communicating by a letter or Twitter or the Internet,' he said. 'There’s nothing like — you know what I mean by this, Lou — talking with your body and your heart and your eyes and your hands, as we Italians do. I think most of the communication has been a cordial one, one that says I’m really looking forward to really establishing a line of communication and really working and really enjoying and and trying to find what I could do to make these guys as good as they can possibly be.'
Frankly, it has nothing to do with being Italian. Almost everyone communicates more effectively face to face than over the phone (and even more so compared to email or letter). That's because human beings take in a ton of tacit information by seeing facial expressions and body language. Employees are less likely to misunderstand your words when delivered with the context of these nonverbal cues.
All managers should listen to Valentine here. Whenever possible, talk to your employees in person.