I was listening to an interview with Danny Meyer the other day on Reid Hoffman’s “Masters of Scale” podcast series. He noted the key things he looked for in an interview; the fundamental non-movable human traits that came before competency and technical skill.
He calls it . . . Hiring for emotional skill.
- Kindness and optimism – Do they actually like helping people?
- Curiosity – Are they looking for the chance to learn something new?
- Work ethic – Do they look to do something a little better each day?
- Highly empathetic – Do they care how others felt?
- Self aware – Do they know their own weather each day?
- Integrity – The awareness and intent to do the right thing even if no one is present.
When you look at these, they all seem pretty stock standard traits that we’d all like to think we’re hiring for. But when I stopped and thought about it for a moment, really thought about it . . not only are these some of the traits naturally held by our most longstanding people, they’re also the traits whose absence often makes me feel that ‘something is off’, albeit sometimes unidentified with any clarity in that moment post-interview.
And your first reaction may be to scoff.
Of course these matter.
But if we all know this to be true
Why aren’t we better at it?
It’s the practice and the discipline
of the soft stuff
That lets us down.