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August 11, 2009


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I think it's not just the positive/pleasant attitude, but the fact that this leads to a larger circle of people that know and like you. You need people to think of you when there is an opportunity, and to either tell you about it or give it to you.

As you have stated yourself, career success depends on luck as well as skills.

It may be a tie-breaker for two equally-qualified people you already know, but what about the people you DON'T know - but you would know if they were outgoing/positive/ nice to be around?

I agree with this.

I'd say it another way: If you're a jerk then your opportunities will be limited. That I think is a bit more definite. You can get fired for being a jerk. The nicer you are then the more doors will remain open and it may open other doors. Some people will weight personality heavier than others.

Being a little grumpy won't necessarily kill your career but it really doesn't help.

"If I had two employees and they both delivered great results, I'd prefer promoting the one that was more pleasant to work with..."

If their work invloves no personal interaction whatsoever, then the distinction you've made between "great results" and "pleasant to work with" makes sense. Otherwise, it's a false dichotomy. Most of us work with people, make presentations to people, collaborate with customers, suppliers, and even competitors. "Pleasant to work with" *produces* great results. It's not frosting on the cake - it's one of the main ingredients in the cake.

True, can't hurt- can only help.


Maria nailed it.

If I'm dealing with programmers who never leave their unlit programming cave, sure, maybe it doesn't matter how they interact with people as long as their software is good... but for most jobs, a person's attitude and interpersonal skills are key components of their work ability.

I agree with the above poster; good to have a positive attitude, but you also need the interpersonal skills.

Having a positive attitude makes you nicer to work with. Certainly I enjoy working with positive people. But it's not a major key to opportunities, advancement and promotions. If you want to advance you need to have skills, deliver results, understand politics and be willing to job hop when necessary. If people are promoted predominantly based on their positivity it probably means that the head honcho is just looking for 'yes-man.'

No doubt. All other things being equal, between two people, the one with the pleasant, enjoyable attitude will keep a job, make more friends, and be offered more opportunities.

If you're incompetent, a pleasant personality isn't going to help much. But when two people have similar skills and are able to deliver similar results, the one with the best attitude is going to be more successful.

Def true. Say we had two people working in similar positions:

Person A - Does their job good, but is not a team player, very arrogant, me first attitude... (you get my picture)

Person B - Does their job good, not as well as Person A, but is very amicable in the office, always willing to assist others and take on new challenges, willing to put their things aside to help the team.

Who would you want to work with? promote? not fire?

Working in a very conservative and large financial services company, I have come to the realization (that is understood in my workplace) that it is more important to be liked by your peers and do the extra things that do not directly impact your actual job over than being competant in your daily work routine. I know it sounds crazy, but thats the game here!

Thanks for making me think first thing in the AM

I absolutely agree with this. Who wants a grump around? I try to be as friendly and likeable at work as I can, and not burn any bridges, even if I am having the day from hell.

Being nice and friendly is the way to go, in my book. But it doesn't mean that you won't succeed if you aren't (unfortunately). Some of the meanest people I've ever met have been the most successful, so the success formula doesn't seem to discriminate. You know the saying that "nice guys finish last". I personally don't want to believe that but the cynic in me (I'm nice but sometimes cynical....) wonders about the semblance of truth in that statement.

I agree 100% - I know for a fact that I've been given a job (and raises) due to "smiling all the time" (direct quote from an old boss). It may sound cheesy, but that in itself can get your places...just hard to do at ALL times ;)

I read the noticer, it was a nice book. It really helps you step back and look at yourself from an objective view point.

I rather work with a person who is not super competent but who is easy to get along with than a genius who acts like he is God's gift to humanity.

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