What are the most effective ways to flatter the boss and get promoted?


In their new study, “Stealthy Footsteps to the Boardroom: Executives’ Backgrounds, Sophisticated Interpersonal Influence Behavior, and Board AppointmentsIthai Stern and James D. Westphal identify the successful techniques for schmoozing your way to the top. Aaron Mays at Kellogg gives the best overview:

First is to frame flattery as advice seeking—such as “How were you able to close that deal so successfully?” Second, argue before accepting a manager’s opinion; do not agree immediately. The researchers also recommend complimenting the manager to friends in his or her social network. Fourth, frame flattery as likely to make the manager uncomfortable (e.g. “I don’t want to embarrass you but your presentation was really top-notch. Better than most I’ve seen.”). Next, agree with the manager’s values before agreeing with his or her opinions. Expressing agreement with those values to people in the manager’s social network is another effective form of ingratiation. Finally, bring up potentially common affiliations with the manager, such as a religious organization or political party.

For being more productive at work I can’t recommend this book enough and you should also check out this system as a complement to it.

Best book I’ve read recently on navigating the working world is Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst.

I don’t know if this is really a business book or not but it can help you in business and in life. One reason I’m hesistant to call it a business book is because it is well-written.

Related posts:

Should you kiss ass at work if you’re not good at it?

Why you can’t work at work

Here’s why your boss is incompetent

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