I have problem about the meaning of the following phrase. What does possessing insights into others mean?

I know the meaning of each word but I can't understand the meaning of the whole phrase. My guess is to have ideas about others.

This is one of the seven top characteristics of success at Google as it appears in this Washington Post article

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

  • @choster Depending on what the OP's native language is, the meaning of the word "insight" is often hard to understand—there is no equivalent for it in many languages. People resort to just transliterating "insight" in their language. Even the word "understanding" only just barely begins to capture the semantics of it.
    – user68912
    Feb 1, 2018 at 22:03
  • @tenebris2020: this is really the problem I have with "insight".
    – comi
    Feb 1, 2018 at 22:07
  • @comi "Insight" is the moment when you sort of have a revelation and "see" some deep truth about something. With an insight, you have sort of "looked into them" and saw something that is not obvious for everyone.
    – user68912
    Feb 1, 2018 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


It means "having a deep understanding of someone", having understood some things about other people that are not obvious, so there was a need for an "insight" (a flash of understanding) to understand some things about others.

P. S. The link to the source was provided by the OP, so I'm reiterating: these people "have a deep understanding of others" (of their values and points of view).

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