Humanities for Techies

My son, while working on his school assignment: “Did you know that Google conducted an internal study that revealed the eight most important qualities of its top managers? Guess where STEM ranks..”

I kind of sensed it wasn’t the first but was surprised when he said: “Last”

In 2008, Google revealed the results of Project Oxygen that identified the key skills and behaviors of it’s managers. Here are the top 8-

1. Is a good coach
2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage
3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
4. Is productive and results-oriented
5. Is a good communicator—listens and shares information
6. Helps with career development
7. Has a clear vision and strategy for the team
8. Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team

Fun fact: the majority of these soft skills are, surprisingly, by products of another hard skill- learning a foreign language. More on that later.

So, parents, educators, employers, question for you- What do you think about Steve Jobs’ infamous statement, ‘STEM wouldn’t be enough’. In a world where technical and computational skills are vital, would we also benefit to acquire human, social and cultural expertise as well?

Maybe Google has an answer 😉

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