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Kissing Up to the Boss

April 28, 2011

There was a segment on Marketplace Money last week on the art of sucking up. They remind you to be subtle and give three basic tactics:
  1. Phrase your compliment as asking for advice and guidance
  2. Pretend to disagree at first before coming around to their point of view, supposedly this will come off as more genuine
  3. Pass compliments through a third party
Is it true that the ass-kissers really do move up more? Probably, though it's disappointing. I mean pure flattery probably isn't going to get you somewhere, but as someone in the segment put it, flattery lets someone know what qualities you value in them. It's almost a way of encouraging a certain kind of behavior, especially if it's done to subordinates or colleagues rather than to your boss.
 
One of the successes in the story when asked for a tip reminds the listener that often when someone gets made a boss they expect others to ingratiate themselves to him. Maybe that's what I tend to forget, that sometimes "the boss" wants you to at least pretend you're kissing up now just because he expects it from everyone. I've certainly seen it after promotion.
 
How about in your experience, does kissing-up help? What are your strategies for using flattery as a job aid?
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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 28, 2011 2:09 am

    My boss is a praise addict. I once went through something he wrote that was horrible, and instead of bleeding all over it, I handed it back and said that it will be fine. I felt sick. He grinned so frickin big that it made me even sicker. I walked away thinking I already arrived in hell, so I'm not heading there! A few days later, he sends an email around with the shit he wrote attached, and he asked others for comments. They told him it was all rambling gibberish. I absolutely guarantee you that he thinks they were wrong, and that he made total fucken sense. I removed myself from the project. He still has no idea why.jc

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