Glenford Smith, Career writer
There is a saying that 'attitude is more important than aptitude', and another which says 'your attitude determines your altitude'.
Both of these are only partially true, at best.
The fact is that aptitude is as important to your success as attitude.
Also, there are people with fantastic attitudes but who attain only average success, because they lack the specialised knowledge and technical skills needed to advance in their chosen fields.
Bottom line: Attitude is necessary but not sufficient in achieving success.
Unfortunately, I believe many people underestimate the power of attitude to determine the level of their career and life success. Consequently, they pay very little attention to nurturing a winning attitude.
The price for this neglect is high and includes multiple job interview failures, being repeatedly overlooked for job promotions and even getting fired, to name just a few examples.
Quite simply, a bad attitude can ruin your career prospects like very few things can.
You can be a beautiful woman or a handsome man, with extraordinary technical skills and a brilliant mind. If, however, you turn people off with a disagreeable, confrontational and irascible attitude, you won't get very far in your career.
If you argue every little point, take pride in always pointing out people's faults, and enjoy proving others wrong, you may be the biggest obstacle to your career advancement without knowing it. If you constantly complain, criticise, blame and display a negative and pessimistic outlook, success will prove as elusive as an American Olympic men's 100m gold medal in recent years.
Let's get this straight: If your attitude constantly turns people off and causes them not to like you, you can expect to suffer a frustrating and mediocre existence. That's true if you're a salesperson, entrepreneur, manager, customer service rep, or job interview candidate.
Webster's dictionary defines attitude as a 'state of mind expressed through behaviour or conduct'. So your attitude is the combination of your habitual thoughts and feelings which people experience as your personality.
People judge your personality and determine if they like you or not by how you dress, your voice, your smile, the words you use, how you shake hands, how courteous you are, how serious or jovial you are and many other factors.
Here are some helpful tips on cultivating a winning attitude:
Replace 'I disagree' with 'It seems to me that'.
Argue your points less and ask questions more.
Replace 'You're wrong' with 'I understand your view. What do you think about this other idea?'.
Practise the Golden Rule.
Practise persistence when confronted by setbacks and adversity.
Cultivate warmth and enthusiasm in your voice.
Commend and praise more frequently than you criticise and complain.
Look for ways to achieve your goals rather than reasons why you can't succeed.
Give more than you get in every transaction and undertaking;
Give yourself a life-changing attitude upgrade with any or all of the following three books: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Influence by Dr Robert Cialdini, and Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. email@example.com