Find the right project management software for your team.
Know your teams’ boundaries.
The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?
In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.
As part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Gorwitz who has an extensive and unique business background. Mr. Gorwitz first started his career as a media salesperson selling both radio and tv airtime. In 2008, Jeff decided to go out on his own as an advertising agency and was fortunate enough to bring along clients he worked with in both radio and tv sales.
Having both the sales expertise and sales perspective along with an agency owner perspective gives Jeff unique insight in how to sell and how to determine which product, service, or other opportunity is worth the investment.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I have the unique background experience of having been a very successful salesperson and then an agency owner who was fortunate enough to work with client’s who had understood the “game”. I am a fan of Gary Vee and he always says to not waste time with those that don’t get it or refuse to learn.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting thing that has happened to me since I began my career was being able to be front and center during the digital revolution. I was one of the first companies to bring their clients to Pandora. I pride myself on being extremely tech savvy which has allowed for me and my agency to be “beta” testers for a lot of nascent digital advertising opportunities.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens that makes the difference.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’d have to say I am most grateful to my clients that had the courage to join me as I was moving from a very secure job to starting my agency and handling their businesses.
Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. Many teams have started working remotely. Working remotely can be very different than working with a team that is in front of you. This provides great opportunity but it can also create unique challenges. To begin, can you articulate for our readers a few of the main benefits of having a team physically together?
The main benefit is having that person right next to you or down the hall. If you need to explain or show how you want something accomplished, it’s a lot easier to do that in person than over a conference call or a Zoom meeting. There is something about having a team working together under the same roof that helps build teamwork, creativity, and camaraderie. We are all in this together.
It also helps as a “boss” that you know they are working. I am not saying they are not working remotely or that maybe they are even more effective when working remotely, but if everyone is under the same roof, you simply know that the work is being done.
On the flip side, can you articulate for our readers a few of the main challenges that arise when a team is not in the same space?
The complete opposite of my previous answer. The work gets done, but it may not get done as quickly as it would have if we were all under the same roof.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience, what can one do to address or redress each of those challenges? What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Communicate With Your Team Effectively Even If You Are Rarely In The Same Physical Space ? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Goal Setting and Communication are the keys to any challenge since COVID began.
- Over Communicate.
- Find the right project management software for your team.
- Know your teams’ boundaries.
- Be Inclusive
- Be Transparent.
Has your company experienced communication challenges with your workforce working from home during the pandemic? For example, does your company allow employees to use their own cell phones or do they use the company’s phone lines for work? Can you share any other issues that came up?
No major issues. I wanted to be as accommodating as I could. If a problem arose, we dealt with it on an individual basis.
Let’s zoom in a bit. Many tools have been developed to help teams coordinate and communicate with each other. In your personal experiences which tools have been most effective in helping to replicate the benefits of being together in the same space?
If you could design the perfect communication feature or system to help your business, what would it be?
In my world of advertising or marketing, the biggest feature I would like to see is a way to have my clients be able to see all the behind the scenes work we do on their behalf in real time.
My particular expertise and interest is in Unified Communications. Has the pandemic changed the need or appeal for unified communications technology requirements? Can you explain?
I don’t think it’s changed the need or appeal necessarily. I do think it has shined a brighter light on the need to communicate efficiently and effectively.
The technology is rapidly evolving and new tools like VR, AR, and Mixed Reality are being developed to help bring remote teams together in a shared virtual space. Is there any technology coming down the pipeline that excites you?
If there are more tools to bring the two worlds together, I am all for it. However, I don’t think anything can replace in-person, face-to-face meetings and collaboration.
Is there a part of this future vision that concerns you? Can you explain?
Yes. I don’t want technology to replace human interaction. There is so much to learn from meeting in person that I think everyone will suffer if we begin to live in a virtual world.
So far we have discussed communication within a team. How has the pandemic changed the way you interact and engage your customers? How much of your interactions have moved to digital such as chatbots, messaging apps, phone, or video calls?
I try to stay away from the chats, messaging apps, phone calls, etc. as I have eluded to above. I feel very strongly about meeting in-person. However, all of those are great tools to compliment an in-person meeting, but not replace.
In my experience, one of the trickiest parts of working with a remote team is giving honest feedback, in a way that doesn’t come across as too harsh. If someone is in front of you much of the nuance can be picked up in facial expressions and body language. But not when someone is remote. Can you give a few suggestions about how to best give constructive criticism to a remote team member?
That can be a big problem What comes across in a text or e-mail can be very different than in person. I handle giving constructive criticism the same way. I really don’t criticize, I just try and have the person look at it from a different perspective and take an ownership of the project rather than just being a means to an end.
Can you give any specific ideas about how to create a sense of camaraderie and team cohesion when you are not physically together?
In the beginning, the Zoom happy hour was fun and different, but as we’ve all experienced Zoom burnout, I think the best way is simply to keep everyone informed.
Ok wonderful. We are nearly done. Here is our last “meaty” question. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As corny and cliché as it sounds, I would like to influence people to follow what they love. If you love what you do, you won’t work anymore. And if you love what you do, you will become an expert in that area and you will find your road to both personal and financial freedom are closer than you think.
Aside from that, I would like to take a big vacuum and clean the oceans and beaches from all the plastic and garbage.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
www.incameracontent.com (new site coming soon)
Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.