Do you interview just on skills or attitude as well?

Even though we talk endlessly about the importance of “attitude”, we hire based on skills and not attitude. The effects of this range from difficult circumstances for team members to disastrous consequences for the company. Looking at the contours of the CV as well as using tools to “discover” what’s beneath the surface is an investment, well worth the effort. A story that underlines this point.

13.07.15The company had invited a consultant to review its workers because the work atmosphere had deteriorated to a degree where the customers were already beginning to notice it. After all – if the sales personnel did not want to stay in the company and the customer got a new salesperson visiting every time, the word started to spread all was not all right with the company.

After observing how people worked and having talked to many salespersons the consultant invited them all into the conference room. He looked at the people in front of him and said:

You remind me of a bedtime story my own mother used to tell me.

It was a story of a father and his sons who kept quarrelling with each other no matter what the father did. So he decided that because they were not listening to his words, he would show them in a practical way how they were hurting themselves with their negative attitude.

He asked the sons to bring him a bundle of sticks. This they did and waited to hear what their father had to say. The father put the big bundle in their hands and asked them to break it. Each had their own turn.

No matter how hard they tried, the bundle did not break.

Then the father opened the bundle and gave each of his sons a separate stick and asked them to try again. This time the sticks broke easily.

The father then said; “Think that you are like these sticks. If you stick together and assist one another, you are like a thick bundle of sticks that others cannot break. But if you are divided and separated from each other, you can be broken as easily as these sticks.”

The consultant looked at his audience.

– You may think negative attitude isn’t hurting you, but it causes your co-workers to leave their jobs. And this is not a case of out of sight, out of mind. Those people go work elsewhere and they spread the word of how they were treated. Your own names may pop up in those conversations and that may be enough to ruin a future deal or stop you from getting a job in the future.

It is in your best interest to start working together. Or if you cannot stop stealing the fruits of someone else´s labor or stop talking bad things about people behind their backs, just be certain you shall meet your own deeds in the future. You see: if you talk bad things about someone behind their back, everyone will realize you will probably do the same about them. No surprise then that they do not wish to work with you in the future. And so your own negative attitude is stealing the good things from your life.

In this day and age you would be wise to try to search for positive things about your co-workers and together decide you shall work honestly from now on. To remind you of the importance of this, I have brought you something. My daughter made them for you yesterday.

The consultant gave each of them a small bundle of sticks that was tied with pretty ribbons.