Jodi Glickman on communicating live in a digital world

Eight images of different people on eight digital tablets

Last month, at our annual Cite online learning conference, I took the opportunity to interview Jodi Glickman, author, and founder of training and leadership firm Great on the Job. We discussed everything from Millennials entering the workforce, to the different communication skills companies look for in new hires, and the role education plays in building those skills.


Gillian: A lot of your work is focused on the idea of communicating live in a digital world.  What does this actually mean?

Jodi: In my mind business is all about personal relationships. And you can only go so far in life with a brilliant e-mail or really great text or leaving someone a voicemail. But the way that you are going to build relationships, build rapport, get things done, get hired or promoted, or get an amazing opportunity at work is through live face to face conversation. I love technology… it enables us to do a million things we could have never done before. I don’t think we’re ever going to lose the importance of being able to have live, face-to-face, one-on-one conversation. And no matter how digitally connected we are and no matter how much our young people are digital natives, there will never be a time where communicating live isn’t as crucial as the technology we put behind it.


Gillian: So what does this mean for people who are geographically removed from their colleagues? How can we build that bridge and still be great communicators?

Jodi Glickman

Jodi Glickman

Jodi:  When people are scattered across the globe, they have to be able to build rapport. You have to be interested in what the other person’s saying. You have to be a good listener. And you have to get your message across. And so if you hone those skills when you’re sitting across the table from someone, it makes it easier to do when you’re on the phone with them a thousand miles away. And I think it makes you better when you’re on that video call. You can really feel connected to someone having them at a distance. But that’s your live communication skills and strategies being put to use.


Gillian: What are some skills and attributes that employers take very seriously when looking at potential new hires…what kind of communication skills make a person ultra competitive?

Jodi: Well, it’s interesting. So I always say that technical skills get you a 4.0, and communication and leadership skills get you promoted. So you can be great at statistics or accounting or do really well in your strategy class. But the truth is you’re never going to get promoted or become a leader of an organization if you can’t communicate effectively. If you can’t sell other people on your ideas, if you can’t build trust, if you can’t get other people behind you. And the way that I think about that beyond communication is through generosity. Putting other people’s initiatives, agendas before your own. Thinking about how you can share resources, share time, share expertise. Being a giver instead of a taker I think is critical. Taking initiative, always thinking about next steps and forward momentum. Not waiting for your boss to ask you what to do, but going ahead and doing what needs to get done on your own volition. Being a critical thinker, being able to make decisions, and having an opinion.


Gillian: And what about Millennials entering the workforce? What specific challenges are they facing as young people coming into a job market?

The conversation continues on our recorded webinar, Becoming Great on the Job: Communicating Live in a Digital World. Jodi Glickman, CEO of Great on The Job, and Sean Stowers of Pearson review the key elements of strategic communication.


Or watch a highlight video of Jodi talking about digital resources to help prepare students to be great on the job.