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September 8, 2018

Sorry techies – Google’s Top 7 Characteristics for Success DON’T Include Tech Skills!

In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills:

  1. being a good coach;
  2. communicating and listening well;
  3. possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view);
  4. having empathy toward
  5. being supportive of one’s colleagues;
  6. being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and
  7. being able to make connections across complex ideas.

Project Aristotle, a study released by Google last spring, further supports the importance of soft skills even in high-tech environments. Project Aristotle analyzes data on inventive and productive teams. Google takes pride in its A-teams, assembled with top scientists, each with the most specialized knowledge and able to throw down one cutting-edge idea after another. Its data analysis revealed, however, that the company’s most important and productive new ideas come from B-teams comprised of employees who don’t always have to be the smartest people in the room.

Project Aristotle shows that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety. No bullying. To succeed, each and every team member must feel confident speaking up and making mistakes. They must know they are being heard.

For more, go here.

Since 2006 at The Painted Sky, we have been pushing the envelope on exactly the same thing – developing the softer skills in technology professionals to deal better with the VUCA world. Because we believe that he who will inherit the earth and its future will not be the one who can code, but decode. 

For 12 years. Across 10 countries. For over 100 clients. 

Call us, or write to, to know how we can galvanise your training efforts.

Anirban Bhattacharya

Anirban Bhattacharya

Now Hiring! Founder at ubqt Design Thinking School. Founder at The Painted Sky.

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