Attitude more important than skills

Published 11:45 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

Having a good attitude is more important than possessing all the skills for a job you may be seeking. Skills can be taught in training, both on the job and in classroom environments.

Attitude, on the other hand, has been learned from early childhood and by the time you become an adult, start looking for a job or entering into serious relationships it is already developed. It takes recognizing internal negativity in your life, outward influences and a strong desire to shift your perspective and improve your life.

Attitudes are often the result of experience or upbringing, and have a very powerful influence over behavior. Attitudes are enduring but they can also change. Attitudes are learned tendencies in evaluating things in a certain way.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This includes positive or negative evaluations of people, issues, objects or events. You can have mixed feelings about people or issues. Learning how to manage negativity and stress in your life, measuring how your attitude influences your behavior and determining how people, things and events make you feel are all components of managing your attitude.

Attitude is more important than:
• your IQ
• facts
• aptitude
• talent
• knowledge
• intelligence
• skills
• education
• money
• past history
• connections

Research has shown that your attitude is the most important factor in determining how well you do in life. Developing a positive attitude demands change.

The first step is to face up to the need for changing from a negative attitude to a positive attitude. Avoiding negative people is an important step that is essential to converting to positivity. Ignore whiners, complainers, gossipers and others who will bring you down. 

Attitudes are formed directly as a result of personal experience or observations. Social rules can have an effect on behaviors that are considered appropriate and involve social norms in determining inappropriate behavior.

The thinking process and mental development involve a willingness to learn from others. A damaging attitude is developed when one thinks they know it all or believes they have achieved all they can. Attitude development requires exerting a lot of effort, looking inwardly and putting others first.

Personality also fits into the processing of ideas and experiences. Recognize that you are also influenced by other people, including family, friends, co-workers, peers and  cultural groups.

Ideas for action:
• Spend time with people who have positive attitudes.
• Avoid negative thinking and complaining.
• Be thankful for your job.
• Reward yourself for accomplishments.
• Take time to re-charge.
• Establish good habits.
• Believe in yourself.
• Recognize opportunities.
• Speak positively.

A positive attitude is contagious. It can cause a chain reaction. It can affect events and outcomes. It can be a buffer between you and the world. It helps you cope with failures and disappointments. It can displace worrying. It is a catalyst for extraordinary results and ultimate success. It is powerful and brings optimism and happiness. 

Adopt a positive attitude as a way of life, expecting the best to happen and it can affect your whole life.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing