The Fine Art of Sucking Up

Brownnosing, at least in its milder forms, can work wonders as a short-term career booster. Here are some tips that can help you advance your career by developing your own fine art of sucking up. . . Just don’t overdo it!


Academics who study career strategies call it “ingratiating.” To the rest of us, it’s just “brownnosing.” You know the tactics: Take copious notes whenever the boss opens his or her mouth, volunteer for office grunt work, e-mail managers in the wee hours to prove your tireless industry, fawn without mercy at every opportunity. Colleagues may roll their eyes and marvel that the boss can’t see the obvious manipulation, but forget them. It works.

Brownnosing succeeds. . . 

. . . because what the manager sees isn’t what your colleagues see. Where they perceive insincerity, the boss notes only energy, enthusiasm, and drive. To measure the value of sucking up, Jenny Chatman, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, grilled 120 Northwestern students who were interviewing for jobs. Those who told corporate recruiters what they wanted to hear — “Your company has a reputation for being team-oriented, and that is something I truly value” — landed jobs at twice the rate of their more reserved but equally qualified peers. “Targets eat it up,” Chatman explains. “People are happy to be ingratiated upon.”

So what are you waiting for? Odds are you could become a much more effective butt-kisser. All it takes is a little practice.

Master the art of eye contact.

Bob Rosner, who filled The Boss’s Survival Guide with workplace advice, suggests that beginners practice this skill by locking eyes intently with a friend’s, over a beer, as he’s droning on about his latest sales coup. If you can make him think his stories are more compelling than the buzzer-beater on the big-screen TV over his shoulder, you’re ready to try it with your managers.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We will help you achieve your business goals and in the process, leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”

Parrot key ideas or slogans.

Using the boss’s pet phrases in meetings, reports, and memos shows that you are getting the message, you respect her opinions, and you firmly grasp what she wants from you on the job. This doesn’t take practice, just shamelessness.

Run ideas by managers who are most likely to hate them.

This protects you from looking like a dolt later on and proves that you covet their opinion.

Take credit for accomplishments.

Beverly Purtell, principal consultant at HRValue Group, recommends sending to managers concise e-mails that talk up your accomplishments. Just don’t forget to give credit to those who helped.

Finally, beware of sucking up to one manager at the expense of another.

“The one you were buttering up can disappear,” warns Richard Sadai, a former executive at Lucent Technologies. There’s nothing worse than hours of eye-locking, all for naught.

The Top 5 Lines to Use on Your Boss

  • “I’m really excited about your proposal. What an original idea.”(Hyperbole should be down-to-earth.)
  • “It’s like you said in last week’s meeting: The brand is everything.” (Bosses like to hear themselves quoted.)
  • “Thanks for your excellent advice on the revision. It made a big difference.” (Who doesn’t like praise?)
  • “You look great. That Zone diet is really working.” (Personalize your compliment so it sounds sincere.)
  • “Got it. Great idea. I’ll do it that way, and you said you want it tonight, right?” (Show you listen intently.) Be aware of your manager’s interests. Those pictures of your manager’s dopey-looking kids cover her desk for a reason. Ask how they’re doing. Does the boss love tennis? Suggest a match after work. At the very least, ask the boss to lunch. Talk about her, not you.

AuthorKim Girard is a freelance writer and author who grew up outside of Boston. She lives with her husband, daughter and dog in Brookline, MA.

If you want to create a quality strategy that cements your position on the web and helps you to establish yourself as a professional that clients hire, contact The Sherwood Group for more ideas.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:
3 Simple Ways to Generate Business on LinkedIn
15 Website Mistakes You Want to Avoid (Part 1)
3 Ways to Increase Your Business Without Resorting to SEO
How to Target Large Clients with Little to No Money
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We will help you achieve your business goals and in the process, leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”


  • By Dilza 16 Jun 2012

    cool one…

  • By Aletéia 16 Jun 2012

    very good stuff.

  • By Alexsandra 17 Jun 2012

    thanks for sharing the post.

  • By Diovanda 18 Jun 2012

    this website is better than anyone else’s.

  • By Celina 18 Jun 2012

    i think this blog is very informative though.

  • By Daniela 18 Jun 2012

    good job! nice nice.

  • By Argemira 20 Jun 2012

    be more accurate in your quotations.

  • By Construction Contractor Brighton 20 Jun 2012

    This company offers fairly priced construction company. Of all the companies in the area this one had the best customer relations. I will always recommend this company for there service with a smile.

  • By Acira 20 Jun 2012

    how exciting! i have really enjoyed reading this post. you guys have built a great community!

  • By 9/11 20 Jun 2012

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  • By Elenise 21 Jun 2012

    i am glad to read this post, its an interesting one. i am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what i found here, i hope you will be adding more in future. thanks,

  • By Luzia Mendes 21 Jun 2012

    thanks a lot for sharing this. heard about something like this for the first time.

  • By Arenice 22 Jun 2012

    can you explain more about your post? actually, i cannot understand it fully.

  • By Laurel Jerauld 22 Jun 2012

    Interesting article. It is quite unfortunate that over the last one decade, the travel industry has already been able to to tackle terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, bird flu virus, swine flu, as well as the first ever true global recession. Through it all the industry has proven to be robust, resilient and also dynamic, discovering new approaches to deal with trouble. There are constantly fresh troubles and the possiblility to which the sector must all over again adapt and reply.

  • By Google 22 Mar 2013


    The information talked about inside the write-up are several of the best obtainable…

  • By Johnscornor 30 Dec 2016

    Big thumbs for making amazing blog. This is the best site. Actually this was an awesome blog post. You have a very inspiring way of exploring and sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed reading your stuff. Thank you !!

  • By johnscornor 04 Jan 2017

    As a beginner it is a perfect platform your blogs really helps to understand me in a much easier way i regular participate on your website.
    Read More :

  • By Johnscornor 04 Jan 2017

    Awesome blog, I really enjoy your article, it’s really worth it. I am Regular user of your website Thanks for taking my post.

  • By Best Dental Clinic in Mexico 05 Jan 2017

    I feel it necessary to write a review of this website which I have been a regular visitor of your website for many years. I would gladly recommend this website to someone looking for these kinds of stuff. Thank You!!

  • By johnscornor 13 Jan 2017

    It is a fantastic blog its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge i am very active person on your website pleasure to come here regularly looking forward with your next article. It might be enhance my wisdom.
    Read More –

  • By 1 Yonge 24 Jan 2017

    This is an extraordinary article it looks so fresh and genuine it does really boost me genius writing i would love to read your new post i am damn sure it would be more interesting.
    Read More –

  • By Downsview Park Market 28 Jan 2017

    Excellent blog whenever i feel bored i come here and i get so many new things over your blog thanks for sharing your knowledge able stuff I appreciate your blog. I would love to read more. Read More –

  • By Real Estate Ottawa 03 Feb 2017

    Thumps up for your knowledgeable stuff to enhance knowledge. Glad to come here. It is amazing to read your blog. Looking forward.
    Read More –

  • By Text Loans uk 03 Feb 2017

    Thumps up for your knowledgeable stuff for increase the knowledge pleased to come here this are an stunning to read your stuff looking forward.

  • By Condos on Kingsway River 08 Feb 2017

    I feel so fortunate to read your blog it looks really very attractive and very passionate kind of reading stuff. I feel it’s a perfect platform i spend a lot time over your website looking forward.
    Read More –

  • By well wisdom 10 Feb 2017

    Individual who made this post, this was an extremely useful for me. Acknowledges for posting this, I saw a unite else alike notify however yours was the prime so deep, always has really good posts and topics please keep it up!
    Read More:-

  • By panda condos 21 Feb 2017

    I was searching a site like this, because I found all information here. Your all articles are amazing and i enjoy to read your all blogs and I would really like to read your new articles.
    Read More:-

  • By mcitycondos 22 Feb 2017

    Well, I am fascinated to visit your blog regularly. It seems very up-to-date. Your blog keeps me updated. It is really hard to keep updates for my own self in this busy life. Your blog is a way as well as aware me about new things. So keep writing! cheers.
    Read More –

  • By Well Wisdom 20 Mar 2017

    Well I am regular member of your blog feel so great to come here it gives me so much information about new topics whenever I come over your blog always get new information keep writing and updates us.
    Read More –

  • By Quick Loans 23 Mar 2017

    Its an informative and delightful blog I like to read this kind of posts. You have mentioned totally motivational and valuable content.

  • By mobile phone loans 23 Mar 2017

    Hay, I am so happy to post on this blog, because it’s was a very interesting and knowledgeable blogs post site. You are doing well; keep it up, best of luck

  • By short term loans low apr 23 Mar 2017

    Awesome article, actually I was looking a website like this, I found all information here. You’re all article are gorgeous, I am very impressed. Thanks for sharing with us and keep posting.

  • By Book your Apartment in 1 Yonge Street 27 Mar 2017

    I must say It is a fantastic blog and this blog has one of the best platforms which is providing updated information. I feel necessary to give review on this blog. It’s a really inspiring blog with full of knowledge.

  • By Natural whey protein 01 Apr 2017

    to the individual who made this post, thank you. This was an extremely nice post. Acknowledges for posting this, I saw a unite else alike notify however yours was the prime so deep, i really like your post.

  • By Grandviewfamily 11 Apr 2017

    Well this is an great post I really enjoyed it seems like bulk of knowledge you analogize and your writing skill so high for a newbie it is an amazing post so keep writing about new topics.
    Read More –

  • By 1yonge condos 13 Apr 2017

    This blog has useful information I must say you have ability to writing unique and informative content. Thanks for sharing this kind of valuable content.

  • By Charisma Condos Street Market 14 Apr 2017

    I am happy to find this post it’s Very informative for me. This post is providing great information and well written blog. I totally agree with your points Thanks for sharing this kind of blog.

  • By florida seo company 15 Apr 2017

    Well, this is my first visit to your blog! You have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a fantastic blog its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.keepit up

  • By Best protein powders 19 Apr 2017

    I am happy to find this post it’s Very informative for me. This blog has useful information I must say you have ability to writing unique and informative content. It’s a really inspiring blog with full of knowledge.

  • By Rajni 21 Apr 2017

    I am regular visitor of your website and after admiration from your website i launched my new website http://www.digitaltrainingindia/in education website of digital world

  • By Development In Harbour street 26 Apr 2017

    Very interesting article with great useful information. I am also sharing this article with my friends you have written excellent content. Thanks for sharing this kind of informative blog.

  • By Development In Harbour street 26 Apr 2017

    I am so happy to read this blog and really It is helpful to me. I got lots of information from this blog thanks for write this kind of blog, keeps the spirit.

  • By Cameron robert 30 Apr 2017

    If you seek Loans from the lender’s website, there will be no formalities coming in your way and hence with much ease you can get the help derived in to your account. With barely any details to be shared with the lender, get your reinforcement sanctioned on the same day.

  • By available Condos for sale on Rutherford road 01 May 2017

    I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read! Always has really good posts and topics please keep it up.

  • By available Condos for sale on Rutherford road 02 May 2017

    Hey there I feel so fortunate to come over your blog you express it in a very easiest way I am very much active person over your blog pretty good to read your blog its quit interesting to read your blog always because it looks fresh all the time.

  • By Karma Ayurveda 13 May 2017

    Awesome blog post, I am a regular Visitor of your blog, whenever I come here I always get great information, Your blog template is so good, I love your all stuff, Thanks for making wonderful post.

  • By MONICA 13 Jun 2017

    Hello, very nice content and Information in your post, your all stuff are very useful for us, I really like your all post. Thanks for sharing this type of informatics post. Keep it up.

  • By Just Dakhila 22 Jun 2017

    I really needed to build a fast remark keeping in mind the end goal to offer thanks to you for these remarkable substance you are putting on your site. You are continually leading a dynamite work. I should state you have composed incredible article.
    Read More:-

  • By Jacksonville SEO Company 29 Jun 2017

    Well I would like to congratulate to you amazing writing skills as regular member of your blog I wanted to say this, it’s really informative blog good work!

  • By Best Ayurvedic Treatment 05 Jul 2017

    I am a regular visitor of your blog, whenever I came here I always found best and useful stuff here, you are doing best work for everyone, I enjoy to read your blog, it’s really enlightening post, thanks keep it up.
    Best Ayurvedic Treatment of Kidney Disease

  • By Mobile loans direct lenders 13 Jul 2017

    I deem your all post are very knowledgeable for everyone, this is such an extraordinary asset, I’m happy to have discovered this post as it’s such a fascinating one. Keep it up
    mobile loans direct lenders

  • By karmaayurveda519 08 Aug 2017

    Hi, your blog have very nice Information related to us, your all blog are very useful for everyone, I really like your all post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and this type of information. i hope you will be continue to this sharing with us.

    Get Best ayurvedic medicine for Kidney

  • By Avia Condos Floor Plans 14 Aug 2017

    This is my first opportunity to visit your website and I am really enjoyed to spend time to your blog post.

    Avia Condos Brochure

  • By For Kidney Disease Get Ayurveda Treatment 06 Sep 2017

    I always read your stuff and after read, I feel happy usually because your all posts are very knowledgeable and useful for everyone I admire to your every wonderful blog. Thanks for share this types of article keep it up.

  • By Jacksonville SEO 14 Sep 2017

    Well, This is my first opportunity to visit this website.! You have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a stunning work and its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.

  • By Ayurvedic Medicine For Kidney 28 Sep 2017

    Great post full of useful tips. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog you are very knowledgeable and helpful for everyone. Thank you very much because you have been willing to share these interesting things to us all, best regards and good luck always.

  • By 95 Lake Shore Blvd Condos Floor Plans 28 Sep 2017

    Awesome Work, I like the helpful info you provide in your articles, you touched some nice factors here and you have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a perfect work and it’s really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.

  • By shiv singh 29 Sep 2017

    This blog is really so interesting and helpful. thanks for making a great website.

  • By Karma Ayurveda 04 Oct 2017

    It is explicit that your all post is very useful for everyone and your writing skills are very tremendous. I really very soothing to read your stuff, thanks for posting keep it up.

  • By Sapphire Softech Solutions 06 Oct 2017

    As a regular reader of your blog, i would like to say I feel so blessed to come here often to study your material. It’s so good and beneficial for me and other members of your blog. I appreciate it. Keep writing! McAfee Technical Support

Leave a Reply

© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now