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Are You a High-Performing Pain in the Neck at Work?

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Contrary to the song, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, much like a poor attitude can quickly become contagious in a close working environment. Conversely, happiness can be infectious. That's why when given a choice between an "A-Player" with a bad attitude and a "B-Player" with a good attitude, senior managers overwhelming choose disposition before qualifications.

Corporate business leaders are emphasizing the importance of cultural fit and think a positive attitude can have a great effect on team morale, particularly as economic factors cause companies to struggle with employee engagement and motivation.

Nearly 88 percent of the senior-level executives recently surveyed by ExecuNet said they would rather enhance their team with that individual who possesses a good attitude, even if he or she does not perform to the highest level or have top qualifications. Only 6 percent of the surveyed executives said they would accept an A-player's bad attitude, and another 6 percent were unsure.

In reviewing initial data from ExecuNet's 21st annual executive job market intelligence survey, there is a dramatic attitudinal contrast between those who are happy at work and those who are not. The negativity of the unhappy executives can quickly become contagious and drag down overall performance. Additionally, B-players with great attitudes can likely become A-players in the right environment.

For job seekers who are concerned their skills are not as strong as their competitors', an attention-getting résumé can generate a face-to-face interview where you can then demonstrate a positive, professional attitude that aligns with the organizational culture and how you'd be a good fit for the team. Networking and a good résumé may get you in the door, but a good attitude will get the offer.

A-players with bad attitudes are advised to adjust their behavior and make a better effort to fit in, as advancement based on the quality of their work alone will be unattainable. Or, find a new environment where happiness can flourish.

What have you experienced? Would you take top skills over a great attitude? Have you seen negativity corrupt a team? Or, has your personality won you a role?