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:
- Phrase your compliment as asking for advice and guidance
- Pretend to disagree at first before coming around to their point of view, supposedly this will come off as more genuine
- 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?