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In the "No"

Pessimistic employees may not be so bad for your business after all.

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Pessimism has gotten a bad rap-nobody wants to hire a pessimist. But a recent study conducted at Central University found there are benefits to pessimism-pessimists tend to make safer choices with regard to gambling than their optimistic counterparts. So could pessimistic employees be an asset to your ?

An employee who plays devil's advocate or sees potential obstacles to a project can be invaluable. Says Bill Catlette, co-author with Richard Hadden of Contented Cows Give Better Milk: The Plain Truth About Employee Relations and Your Bottom Line, "Often, that difference manifests itself in the form of caution or skepticism-qualities that good leaders come to appreciate and effectively utilize."

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