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Sucking Up to the Boss Can Work — But Backfire

Editorial Team

Bosses are now told to praise down because paychecks are no longer enough to motivate employees. But praising up can be problematic, USA TODAY reports: of 22 CEOs interviewed, 17 said brown-nosing never helped their careers, but 20 said employees should compliment the boss if they are sincere about it. ”

Women are way way better at it because they are more subtle, more facile half-truth tellers,” says Just Ask a Woman CEO Mary Lou Quinlan.

The article invites readers to introspect on their professional behavior by posing the question: Do you consistently compliment, seek favor, or blindly agree with your manager(s)? If the answer is ‘yes,’ the article suggests that this might be indicative of being a brown-noser or someone who excessively flatters or curries favor with superiors.

Furthermore, the article encourages readers to participate in an accompanying survey to help assess their behavior, and subsequently share the results with others in the comments. Importantly, it also asks participants to reflect on whether or not such behavior has yielded any tangible benefits in their professional life.

Career Advice:

1. While it’s important to maintain good relations with your superiors at work, it’s equally crucial to strike a balance and avoid coming off as a brown-noser. Excessive flattery or blind agreement can lead to loss of respect among colleagues and superiors alike.

2. Authenticity is key in professional relationships. Instead of blanket agreement, offer constructive feedback and ideas that may help improve the work process. This will demonstrate your ability to think critically and contribute effectively.

3. Observing professional boundaries is also essential. While being friendly with your superiors is perfectly acceptable, always remember to maintain a level of professionalism in your interactions.

4. Don’t rely solely on flattery to progress in your career. Instead, focus on improving your skills, taking on challenging tasks, and consistently delivering quality work. These are sure ways to earn recognition and advance in your career.

5. Lastly, always remember to treat all individuals in the workplace with respect, regardless of their position. This not only fosters a positive working environment but also enhances team cooperation and productivity.

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