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Substance over style in workplace

Who wouldn't prefer posh, asks Grace Dent (DebateNI, June 17).

For a salesperson, or maybe a journalist, the ability to schmooze might be the most important skill. For an engineer, doctor, plumber and most things I'd rather they were chosen on ability to do the job.

Grace Dent may put a surgeon's bedside manner above a steady hand, but if I can't have both I'll go with the latter.

As for management, we've probably all worked for someone selected on their networking skills, self-confidence and familiarity with the culture of the bully rather than their business and managerial acumen, so I don't need to explain the problems that brings (but I could quote our poor productivity record).

Being brilliant at saying the right thing is not the same as being good at what you do.


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