Ideas on People and Performance, Team Building, Motivation and Innovation

Month: January 2018

Google’s Unexpected Discovery that Soft Skills Create the Most Success

Think Google, think Research, and think Leadership. And then cogitate on the factors that Google found MOST linked to their most successful managers, the ones who have prospered within their organization.

Consider what it means that these were the top characteristics for success at Google:

  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 and being supportive of one’s colleagues;
  5. Being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and
  6. Being able to make connections across complex ideas.

The surprise for Google was that these are all soft skills rather than the hard skills or STEM abilities (science, technology, engineering and math) they originally thought would be more valuable for success. Google collected this data through its 2013 Project Oxygen and then did another study in 2016, Project Aristotle, that analyzed data on inventive and productive teams and found that the best teams exhibited such soft skills as:

  • Equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of one’s teammates, empathy, and emotional intelligence.

And, at the top of 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.

Also aligning with the findings of Google’s data was a recent survey of 260 employers (from small to large to powerful) by the nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers. One particular survey found that communication skills ranked in the top three most-sought after qualities by job recruiters.

Most valued was:

  • An ability to communicate with one’s workers, and
  • An aptitude for conveying the company’s product and mission outside the organization.

Are you honing your own soft skills for better workplace success? Reaching out to your employees and involving them in moving forward is seemingly a win/win for everyone as it helps to create a safer, happier and more productive workplace for all:

If you’d like a remarkably easy and unique way to increase your facilitation and workplace interaction skills and generate focused conversations that will lead to ideas for workplace improvements and create better employee engagement, we offer two very inexpensive and practical ways for doing so:

  1. Try our Stupidly Simple Square Wheels Facilitation Toolkit that includes everything needed to ensure your success at facilitating a productive and safe session that will promote involvement and a sharing of ideas.
  2. Join The Square Wheels Project, an online learning platform that gives you both the tools and the training for generating interactive discussions around ideas and opportunities for improvements.

If you would like to read the complete Washington Post article containing the information referred to in this email about Google and its findings regarding soft skills and STEM hard skills, you’ll find it here.

Bringing people together to learn from each other and have a voice gives them a sense of ownership and value that helps to create a more successful and satisfying workplace for all involved. So take the initiative and get your crucial soft skills rolling to inspire a better future!

For the FUN of It!

Dr. Scott SimmermanDr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

You can reach Scott at
Connect with Scott on Google+

Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.

Square Wheels® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Company
LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO® Group®

What is the best corporate team building game?

Today, you can easily find a wide variety of team building and team bonding activities, free and online. You can find simple games and game materials or more formal simulation designs and packages from vendors like Trainers Warehouse.

Some companies sell their team building products. We offer, The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine in a variety of formats for different sized groups. This is an actual business development simulation, focused on alignment to visions and goals and that reinforces the idea that collaboration offers many more benefits to optimizing results than does competition.

PMC offers rentals as well as outright purchases with no per-participant costs or annual licenses or certification fees.

You can rent a fully supported game for large group events at a very reasonable cost. You get full support for a very low per-participant cost and can deliver it yourself, using your leadership team. That option gives you an amazingly powerful impact on helping to change the organizational culture.

Expedition Leader's Role

We get feedback saying that our combination of low costs and the focus on collaboration allow for a great deal of real-world behavioral change. Dutchman offers measurable results and tracking of lost revenues when collaboration is not optimal. Other games allow less of a business focus and depend greatly on the facilitation skills of the leader to link behaviors to desired future business outcomes.

We think Lost Dutchman is the best game there is, based on this combination of business relevancy, business challenge, congruency of leadership to issues of organizational support, the links between collaboration and improved outcomes, and the effective, simple and constructive debriefing possibilities.

At this location, you can find a direct listing of benefits of Dutchman as well as a comparison of features and benefits to a commonly known exercise called, Gold of the Desert Kings. You can contact Eagle’s Flight directly for more information about that exercise, its costs, etc. They requested that I not provide a link to their website.

We are more than happy to host a discussion of issues and opportunities and values of different training programs and processes.

For the FUN of It!

Scott banking LD

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement products. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant who designs simple,

powerful learning tools.

See the powerful new teambuilding game, The Collaboration Journey Challenge

You can reach Scott at
Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.


non-agreement bliss poem

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén