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5 Business Skills Every IT Pro Must Master (Collection) by Leigh Thompson, Jerry Weissman, Terry J. Fadem, Stephen Robbins, Robert Follett

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Truth 5. Want Friendly Employees? It’s in the Genes!

Executives at Southwest Airlines recognize what many managers fail to notice: Some people are just inherently more friendly and upbeat than others. Southwest believes, and rightly so, that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to train people to provide friendly and courteous service. So Southwest Airlines focuses its hiring process on selecting out people who aren’t basically happy and outgoing.

A number of jobs—flight attendants, retail clerks, salespeople, and customer service are some obvious examples—are performed better by people with positive dispositions. Many managers trying to fill these jobs have assumed that pleasant employees can be created. They spend a lot of their time trying to ...

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