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How to be a better brown noser

Brown-nosing-1 Whoever thinks brown nosing is easy is mistaken. There's an art to brown nosing and if done properly, it can yield all kinds of perks that will help with your work life balance and advance you in your career.

As The Careerist points out, we all know that kissing up works.  "Yes, sucking up builds careers, especially if you're just passably smart, as most of us are. But the big question is how to do it well," writes Vivia Chen.

She went to two business school professors for suggestions. Below is a combination of their suggestions and mine:

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. Remember, people feel important when you ask them for advice.

2. Argue a bit with the kissee about his opinion or approach. Do not agree immediately. But, needless to say, ultimately agree.

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. Holiday parties are a great place to work on this.

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.” This can be timely as the year comes to a close. Example: "I hate to admit this but you had an amazing year."

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. 

8. Let your respect shine through.  You can respectfully follow orders even if you don't always agree with them. Although bosses may like yes-men, show enough respect for him that you occasionally voice disagreement.

To be effective, you will need to kiss up well beyond your immediate circle. Some people have perfected ingratiating behavior, and that might be why they got ahead in your organization. But be careful not to go overboard with brown nosing.  As HowStuffWorks points out: It's hard to draw the line where flattery becomes unethical.

Do you continue to believe that being good at your job is all that should be required? Or have you realized that kissing up can help you get ahead?