7 ways to schmooze your way to the top
In an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like to think that the leaders of our companies got where they are because they're the very best and smartest in the company. Alas I'm equally sure that in reality many of us look at our bosses and wonder how on earth they got where they are. New research by the Kellogg Management School might well have found the answer - they schmooze their way to the top.
Researcher Ithai Stern has revealed that employing flattery wisely is a widely used strategy for achieving boardroom success.
"Past research has demonstrated the effects of corporate leaders taking part in ingratiation and persuasion tactics, however, our study is the first to look at the effectiveness of specific tactics in increasing the likelihood of garnering board appointments at other firms, as well as which types of executives are most likely to effectively engage these tactics."
Stern and his team identified seven strategies for schmoozing your way to the top.
- The Flattery as Advice Schmooze: Occurs when a person poses a question seeking advice as a way to flatter the subject (i.e. “How were you able to close that deal so successfully?”).
- The False Argument Schmooze: Instead of agreeing immediately, a person will yield before accepting his/her manager’s opinion (i.e. “At first, I didn’t see your point but it makes total sense now. You’ve convinced me.”).
- The Social Schmooze: Praising manager to his/her friends or social network with hopes that word gets back to manager.
- The Bashful Schmooze: Positioning a remark as likely to be embarrassing (i.e. “I don’t want to embarrass you but your presentation was really top-notch. Better than most I’ve seen.”).
- The Conformity Schmooze: Expressing values or morals which are held by one’s manager (i.e. “I’m the same way. I believe we should increase minimum wage.”).
- The Social Conformity Schmooze: Covertly learning of manager's opinion(s) from his/her contacts, and then conforming with opinion(s) in conversations with manager.
- The Similarity Schmooze: Mentioning an affiliation, such as a religious organization or political party, shared by both individuals. (i.e. “I watched the Republican National Convention last night. The keynote presented some great points.”).
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