I probably know what you’re thinking. The thought of an office suck up is disgusting, much less learn from them. Your personal ethics prevent you from finding anything redeemable about this person. You may even think this person has caused you problems in the eyes of your boss despite performing much better. How on earth could this be someone to learn from?
Before thinking the boss can’t see what is taking place right under their nose, consider how their job works and why this might be a good thing:
Performance. The boss is in charge of the performance of a number of people. Way too many people think a boss “should just know” what they do and how they do it. Wrong as can be. The boss has to figure out a way of determining your performance; and when an employee makes that easy for them they are scoring points. The suck up is busy ensuring they keep the boss informed of their activities and obviously can put a “spin” on it in the process. With or without a biased input, when an employee is forth coming with work insight they are scoring points. Those are points you could be obtaining as well.
Transparency & Transparency. When you act as an open book about what you are doing, especially with the boss, you are building a bank account of trust. While that may not be 100% true for the suck up, if the majority of what they are doing is transparent and easy for the boss to see, the trust goes up considerably.
First to set the standard. All too often the suck up is the one to communicate first and the most frequent. When this is done, it quickly turns into a standard in the mind of the boss. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but it can. If the suck up’s point of view and standard is different than yours, you can become a problem. You may know differently, but now what you are doing isn’t the like the suck up’s, which means you could be at risk in your job. Don’t think that hunkering down in your office is going to win you any points or prevent the dreaded “performance discussion.” Get yourself into the boss’ office and start engaging them in your work. This will help keep the boss balanced on how they see each person in the group.
Branding. Your brand is always showing even if you don’t pay any attention to it. The suck up wants to be viewed well. They clearly are ensuring the boss knows their brand and the value associated with it. You may not agree but whose opinion matters? The boss’. You can build your brand value very simply by being clear on what you bring to the party and then finding ways of reinforcing it. We are the only one to self-promote and if you’re concerned about being icky when you do, find a way to do it that is authentic to you.
Asset. The suck up may be an asset because they are spending time learning about the demands being made on the boss. By doing that, they can find ways of directly helping the boss without much additional workload. All managers want their employees to perform, but when the employee goes out of their way to be helpful they are not just an employee but also an asset. When a manager has an asset – they hold on to them. Keep that in mind every day.
There are always things we can learn from others, even people we aren’t fond of working with and find most of their behavior difficult to be around. Keep your mind open and yourself alert to the possibilities. You might find some gold nuggets in the process.
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com