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4 reasons why you should hire for attitude over IQ

When hiring someone for a job, which is more important for you: good attitude or high IQ?
By Craig Cincotta |



Business owners should put a premium on attitude when managing and developing teams. They should consider attitude as a lead indicator when making hiring decisions.

Here are four reasons why you should hire for attitude over anything else.

Related: 3 simple, yet critical musts for onboarding success

1. These employees can fly above the noise and help keep everyone focused.
Gossip and rumor mills can drive everyone crazy. These unproductive people are often born from negative attitudes--people who are looking for the worst in other people and in situations. It is nothing but noise and it leads to unproductive and inefficient cultures.

People with a great attitude fly above the noise and refuse to be distracted by the pull of negative chatter. In many cases, their desire and focus to keep moving the bar can be contagious. Their positive attitude gets people focusing on the right behaviors, which ultimately lead to better business results and overall employee satisfaction.




2. They are able to promote a positive workplace.
Simply put, people with a great attitude are more fun to be around.

At work we often spend more time with our co-workers than we do with family and friends. A great attitude can be a determining factor in whether a person is going to exceed their goals--and many times they do, because they have the support of those around them.

Related: The 3 secrets to building an all-star startup team


chess_438444_640.jpg3. These staff members know that celebrating the small wins leads to big wins.
Part of having a great attitude is being able and willing to celebrate the daily wins. These wins (which may seem trivial at the time) are actually motivators for building long-term success.

If you are a company that wants to achieve big, audacious goals, you need to be pragmatic enough to know that these goals are not accomplished over night. You need to work towards them. That requires consistent and meaningful motivation, so people can see how the hard work of today pays off tomorrow.

Employees with a great attitude appreciate the journey and they make it easier for those around them to give their all, day in and day out.




4. They lead to great teams because they celebrate the 'we' over the 'me.'
Above all else, people with a great attitude are more successful at driving and leading winning teams. Part of the reason is their focus on the ‘we’ over the ‘me’.

Whether it is through accountability, shared commitments, or lack of emphasis placed on their own goals, they are able to get others to work together to accomplish something great. They don’t obsess over titles, visibility, or favor and promote interoffice politics.

As the saying goes, “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can't go anywhere until you change it." If you focus on hiring people with a great attitude right off the bat, you won’t have to deal with cultural or business derailment down the road.

Related: Why that VP from Google is probably not the best fit for your startup



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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.


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