Monday, November 22, 2010

And speaking of the importance of office politics (see below), here's a primer on obsequiousness

A couple of Northwestern Business profs have released a study that analyzes the factors that have helped executives get coveted seats on boards.   Their conclusion?  "[I]ngratiating behavior was the strongest single predictive factor for obtaining board appointments."

Now you may be asking:  "Ok, but what's the best way, exactly, to suck-up without being too obvious about it?"  The Northwestern profs have you covered there too because they've compiled a list of the most successful ingratiating behaviors which the Careerist blog has thoughtfully published:

1. Pretend you're seeking advice. Example: “How were you able to close that deal so successfully?”  Mentoring is very in--so let that incoherent partner think that he can actually teach you something.

2. Argue a bit with the kissee about his opinion or approach. Do not agree immediately. But, needless to say, ultimately agree. Remember, lawyers love a good argument--especially if they think they've won.

3. Tell the kissee's friends or family how much you adore/admire her. Just pray that word ultimately gets back to the kissee--otherwise, you've wasted a lot of time.

4. Flatter the kissee by pretending that you're actually a reluctant flatterer. Example: “I don’t want to embarrass you, but your presentation was really top-notch. Better than most I’ve seen.”

5. Agree with the kissee’s values before agreeing with her opinions. The goal is to convey how you both share the same big picture--that vision thing.

6. Tell people in the kissee’s social network that you really share those values. Again, you are counting on word getting back to the kissee that you are kindred spirits.

7. Finally, hint that you are part of the same circle, such as a religious organization or political party.

You can read the rest here at the Careerist.

Hat tip to the online ABA Journal Blog.


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