Suck Up to the Boss Or Just Work Well With the Boss?

Suck Up to the Boss Or Just Work Well With the Boss? - Introvert Whisperer

Suck Up to the Boss Or Just Work Well With the Boss?

Brown-noser. Suck-up. Kiss-[you-know-what].Teacher’s pet. Whether it’s merited or not, sometimes people who simply have a good relationship with the boss are accused of being something less-than-desired.

What do you think is the key to having a good relationship with the boss without venturing into “suck up” territory? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.
  • Don Nasca

    I had to watch this video because I have been a boss and a subordinate for 35 years. This presentation is good advice; however, there are many cases that don’t fit here. I would say without hesitation that in large and long existing organizations, the suck-ups rule supreme and the middle of the management chain is filled with them.

    What I always have found is that the people on top are generally far too isolated from the bottom to have any real sense of the inner workings of the company. They may think they do, everyone smiles and claps for them like seals waiting for a fish to be tossed, but they honestly do not.

    The people who sucked their way up the ladder have learned this behavior works and they have this amazing ability to be the nicest person to the all levels up and the most miserable, unhappy, career stopping people to everyone under them with exception of course to the master of the suck-ups who could be useful to their own advancement.

    Some manager’s are so unable to connect with the people under them that they don’t even speak to them in any context other than to complain, ridicule, and threaten. I suppose it is a self-preservation mechanism. Talented, motivated, capable people can become noticed and advance more quickly then the suck-up manager, so they make sure you are not given any opportunity to shine and they take full credit for all of your work and give you no credit whatsoever other than for the mistakes or failures of your team or department.

    So, I hate to be a party-pooper, but the way to play the game depends greatly on the environment you work in. New hires always start out ready to change the world and by the second year they know the score and either play along or move on.

    If you want to test this, create a presentation with suggestions on how the company can improve and knock on the door of someone two or three pay grades up and ask to show them your ideas. Let your boss know what you are doing on the way upstairs, smile and keep walking. You have either just committed suicide or will be promoted and your boss demoted.

    I did this several times in my career when I just had enough of being part of the problem (silent as the ship sinks). Once I was actually promoted and offered my bosses job or another position. I took the other position. Once I was responded to by my bosses boss that my territory was being changed to the deep South when I built the NY business so I quit and his boss flew in to apologize and give me a raise. I said thanks but no thanks and took the next gig I had in the wings. One time I was really put in a bad place. I was hired and learned my manager fires people like changing socks and the corporate HR fellow told his boss that he should not be allowed to hire anyone anymore and that I was the best candidate. Well, you can imagine the way this guy treated me when he learned he didn’t have a choice and a 27 year old kid was getting the job where everyone was 50 to 60. I took in the shorts for five years as my family obligations were too great to jump ship again.

    So my advice is to get to know your boss as a person as best as you can. What do they enjoy, learn about their family, friends, pets, hobbies, religion, politics…. Find some common ground from which you can look at each other eye-to-eye for a moment or two now and then. If you can’t get to that level in six months and the boss is intolerable, get a new job and try again. Your pay check may not go up, but your physical and mental health will say thank you.

    Glassdoor offers some good inside info to help you avoid taking a job to nowhere.

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