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According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 35% of the American workforce (or 53.5 million people) has directly experienced bullying–or “repeated mistreatment by one or more employees that takes the form of verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation or sabotage of work performance”–while an additional 15% said they have witnessed bullying at work. Approximately 72% of those bullies are bosses.

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The Shameless Guide to Kissing Ass and Getting Paid

Kissing ass, sucking up, brown nosing.Kissing-Ass.jpg

We have lots of terms for trying to make someone like you, almost all of them dirty. It’s seen as a manipulative, shallow, and dishonest.

But damn if it isn’t effective.

If you master the art of charming people, everything becomes easier — making the sale, getting the promotion, keeping your job. You’ll make more money, create more friendships, and feel more secure.

The key is doing it right. Kissing ass has gotten a bad rap because so many people are bad at it. They’re like amateur magicians that the crowd boos because their tricks are obvious.

Unfortunately though, the technique is light on training materials. You can’t take Brown Nosing 101 in college or browse through the Sucking up section at the bookstore.

What we need is a guide for how to kiss ass effectively… which is why I’ve written one.

Ass Doesn’t Taste so Bad

The first step in learning to kiss ass effectively is to get rid of the bad taste in your mouth that comes just from thinking about it. If you’re disgusted by what you’re doing, you’ll never be able to do it well.

What’s so wrong about getting someone to like you? You’ve probably done it to get laid or talk your way out of a speeding ticket. If it works and doesn’t hurt anybody, then why not carry those skills over into business?

After all, most people like having their ass kissed, as long as the one doing the kissing is good at it. I know I do. We all like to be around people that make us feel better about ourselves. It’s only human.

So why feel guilty about it?

You’ve Got to like Asses

You can never become a top-notch ass kisser unless you genuinely like people. All people. Otherwise, they’ll be able to tell that you don’t really mean it, and they’ll hate you for trying to manipulate them.

How does one go about learning to like people?

Part of it is realizing that, whether you like it or not, you’re a lot like everyone else on this planet. You feel the same emotions, make the same mistakes, and have the same desire for people to love you anyway.

Another part is teaching yourself to see the good side of people. Work at it long enough, and you can find something you genuinely like about anyone, even if it’s only their talent for making you hate them.

Either way, if you’re going to kiss someone’s ass, you need to put yourself in the right state of mind. You need to like them, and they need to know it.

Don’t Overdo It

Second to disliking them, the worst mistake you can make when kissing someone’s ass is to overdo it. You want them to like you, so you give a compliment that obviously isn’t true or you shower them with too many compliments in a row.

It doesn’t work because people know when you’re lying.

If you walk in for an interview and immediately start complementing the furniture, family pictures, and everything else you can find, they’ll know what you’re doing, and they’ll know it’s dishonest. No one is that impressed.

Similarly, if your boss drives a piece of junk car, you’d be stupid to try and convince him that it’s the prettiest one you’ve ever seen. Compliment him on his frugality or disregard for what other people think, but don’t lie to him. He’s smarter than that.

The problem with overdoing it is that it insults people’s intelligence. You think you’re making them feel better, but in reality, you’re very sweetly telling them that you think they’re gullible enough to believe your nonsense. Don’t do it.

Instead, just be natural. If you see something you genuinely appreciate, complement it and move on. They’ll appreciate you noticing, even if it’s something simple.

Kissing Ass Takes Practice

The first time you kiss someone’s ass, you’ll probably do it wrong. Worse, since you’ve read this article, you’ll probably know it. You might be embarrassed, trip all over yourself, and feel horrible about how inept you are.

Accept it and move on.

Learning the fine art of ass kissing is like every other skill. It takes practice. The masters of the craft dedicate years to it, honing their skills of observation and delivery. And they make plenty of mistakes.

I recommend practicing on your relatives. Your mom, for instance, is morally obligated to like you, no matter how dishonest you are. Try throwing out a compliment every now and again. Once she gets over the shock, she’ll probably appreciate it, and you’ll get valuable practice.

You should also start with safe complements. Tell someone you like their shoes or their car. Don’t try to be clever. Just spit it out, saying something like “I really like those shoes,” and see what happens.

It takes time, but you’ll get a feel for how people will respond.

Use Your Skills to Your Advantage

Once you feel comfortable with your skills, put them to work to help you make more money. Here are some ideas:

  • Find something positive that your company is doing and tip off the press, using yourself as a source
  • When a coworker covers for you, send them a thank you note that says, “These days, not many people watch out for each other, and it means a lot that you would cover for me. Thanks for being a great human being.”
  • If a customer finds some genuine flaws with your product, tell them it’s the most insightful feedback you’ve heard in months and ask for their permission to pass it on to product development team
  • The next time your boss says something smart, ask him or her to repeat it and then write it down
  • If your company has an Employee of the Month Program or something like it, make a habit of nominating coworkers you notice doing something good

Do things like these on a regular basis, and you’ll notice that people are a little happier to see you. You might start getting invited to more parties, or people may start making a point to introduce you to other movers and shakers.

In the end, making people like you is no substitute for genuine talent, but it helps give you a chance to display that talent. For instance:

  • Your boss will start to pay more attention to you, making it more likely he or she will notice your achievements
  • Your coworkers will respond more positively to your ideas, making it more likely they’ll help you implement them
  • Your customers will enjoy spending time with you, making it easier for you to get sales appointments

None of those benefits will directly make you more money, but indirectly, they can add up tosignificant increases in your value to everyone around you. As your value increases, you’ll also have more “ammunition” when you ask for a promotion or raise.

Even more importantly, the higher you go in business, the more important it is for people to like you. The price of stock in publicly traded companies changes dramatically based on how much people like the CEO.

You can never get to that level without becoming a master ass kisser. Like it or not, that’s how the game is played.

If you’re reading this blog, then I already know you’re up to it. You’re one of the few that’s taking a genuine interest in learning the skills necessary to make more money. All by itself, that puts you well ahead of most other people out there.

If there’s anything at all I can do to help you, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always interested in talking with people that are rising to the top.

And you, my friend, are one of them

Warren Buffett is perhaps the greatest investor of all time, and he has a simple solution that could help an individual turn $40 into $10 million.

A few years ago, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett spoke about one of his favorite companies, Coca-Cola, and how after dividends, stock splits, and patient reinvestment, someone who bought just $40 worth of the company’s stock when it went public in 1919 would now have more than $5 million.