Human Skills: Teamwork

Any job posting that you look at will specify they want a “team player” or “someone who works well with others.” Some call it “culture fit.” In fact, this is so common it’s almost become cliché – we all want to work with people we enjoy. We want to work with people who are invested in our success and interested in positive outcomes.

But what does teamwork really look like? How do we achieve teamwork in our organizations, and how do we screen for it as something we can evaluate in a job interview or on the job itself?


Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 @ 10:06 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Diversity

The Earth is a perfect example of the diversity of the universe. Teeming with life, the Earth represents the power and strength of a diverse biosphere, filled with all kinds of life, from single-cell organisms to complex humans that build incredible structures and blast off into space to explore other worlds. Each piece of the biosphere represents a unique role in our world. No single piece is replaceable. All parts are critical.

In many ways, the necessary diversity of lifeforms on our planet is analogous to the importance of diversity within the human race itself. Humans may share many similar characteristics, but our color, religion, sex, gender, identity and a host of other factors make us unique from one another. Still, every single one of us – every single human – is crucial to the world in which we live. 


Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 @ 11:30 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Business

Human Skills: Leadership

Leadership is a tricky topic. When the subject of leadership comes up, most people automatically think of the person “in charge” as the natural leader. They rightly look at them as the person responsible for leading them. But leadership is broader than the person “on top.” Leadership describes behavior, rather than position, and emphasizes how we act, rather than the titles we have.

Let’s take a look at three different kinds of leaders, and the benefits of each. (more…)

Friday, January 7th, 2022 @ 1:10 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Communication

How do you communicate?  This question, perhaps more than any other, dictates how successful a person will be in life. As social animals, humans rely on and prize communication skills at or above all others. We elevate great orators to positions of power, and we celebrate beautiful marketing campaigns that communicate clearly.  Despite the fact that every human everywhere uses communication with others on a daily basis, communication is still an area where many people struggle. With developers, this problem can be particularly acute, and yet the complexity of software development is a practice that requires effective communication to work properly. The famous bit, “Who’s on first?” illustrates the challenges of communication well. In this bit, Abbott & Costello discuss baseball. Costello asks Abbott, “Who is on first?” Abbott responds with, “Who is on first.” Costello becomes more and more irate as the two fail to communicate that “Who” is the name of the first baseman. This bit is probably the most famous comedy routine of all time, based on a simple miscommunication between two people, using simple, everyday language.  So, how do we communicate effectively with each other? 

Communication is about ideas


Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 @ 7:54 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

Human Skills: Empathy

I recently hired a new developer for my team at Tailwinds, and during that process I focused on an interview that I referred to as the human skills interview. I’m not a fan of the “soft skills” concept, knowing that “soft skills” tend to be very hard indeed. Instead, I wanted to understand candidates from a holistic and complete perspective, including their skills with other people.

This human skills interview focused on many different aspects of what it means to be successful as a person within a small team, and one of the most important skills in any developer is the ability to empathize with others. This is important for several reasons: it’s key to understanding and working with team members, and also developing features that users will love. It’s also a skill that developers often struggle with.


Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 @ 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Business

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