4 insights on how to bond with people

Nov 18, 2015 by Brendan Jack

We all need to kiss ass at some point, even Bill Gates.

Pucker up, buttercup

Boss pleasing suck-ups are more likely to advance in a company. They come across as trustworthy and put themselves out there. However, they can appear to be fake and possibly are. Like Coke, you need to be the real thing. Being yourself makes you more relatable than a robotic ass kisser.

Spend your energy on doing your best, not pretending that you love senior management’s weak jokes or other brown-nosing techniques. Just saying.

Kissing ass is really about bonding with people. Don’t confuse it with grovelling and begging. If that’s what’s required, then perhaps you messed up and have to make amends. Ass kissing of the positive kind (not the sucking-up variety) is about making yourself more interesting, likeable and creating positive impressions.

When you kiss ass with flair and creativity, everyone wins. Do it with a smile. If you fake it, they’ll see right through you. Do it with heart and never do it while checking the message on your phone.

Don’t kiss too much

Everything in life is about moderation. If you overdo it, people could get irritated by your obviousness. Remember, it’s a gentle art.

Got a bad response from your boss or client? No need to go into grovel mode. If you can, rather thank them for their feedback, tell them it’ll be great insight to pass on to others and for you to avoid further mistakes. Mean what you say – be sincere. You’re kissing up the right way, without having to cry in the shower afterwards.


Everyone has to network. Business gatherings, conferences, events to meet and greet. These are great opportunities for corporate kissing. And the best kissers are good listeners.

Say yes to non-work invitations (within reason). Getting to know people outside the office on a more personal level creates better relationships.

Be a team player and show humility.

If the situation is right, try an icebreaker to create the right vibe.

Play nicely

Loose lips sink ships and careers. Kiss ass with class. Don’t use ugly rumours to bond with someone – that’s not the way to build relationships. Rather try to make people smile, capture their imaginations and spread some joy.

Asking for help is another reverse psychology technique to get buy-in from others.

Take time to listen and offer unobvious compliments or commendations for something the kissee has done. People like to feel appreciated (when it’s genuine). Actually, try create a culture of elevating or rewarding everyone who does a good job, not just those who can advance your position in the workplace.

Summing up

Be subtle, don’t be contrived. Listen, smile and add something positive to the situation. Creativity also goes a long way. Consider warming up the room with an icebreaker. There’s a fine line between getting someone to like you and going in headfirst. Too much is obvious and often awkward for everyone. Keep at it, and find that balance.

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