This post is a little more philosophical in nature, but there will be specific advice as well.
Brownie Points are a real thing. When you conduct a good deed, or do someone a favor for someone, that person will like you a little more. Next time you need something, that person will be more likely to help you out, than had you not done them a favor.
I multiply that concept to everything. Every single action I take, I am aware of who I am possibly winning brownie points with, and who I am possibly losing them with.
The title is the bottom line. Build up brownie points whenever you can. One day, you can spend those brownie points on getting what you want. The more you have, the more you’ll get your way.
You can never please everyone. But you CAN choose actions that win favor with those who you want favor with.
I work with all sorts of people, some of which have more power than others. I have nine bosses, all of varying degrees of power and authority. Three of them don’t really know who I am, one likes me but doesn’t really take me too seriously, three of them like me a lot and take my ideas very seriously, and two of them appreciate my hard work but aren’t always on my side 100%. So which one of these people do I appeal to?
Those three who like me a lot and take my ideas seriously. I make sure that my actions keep me in their good favor, specifically. The other six aren’t as relevant, as long as I don’t do anything to directly irritate them. But even if I do, as long as there’s someone over their head I have better favor with, it’s all good. The military has a very nice efficiency to it.
Brownie points are essentially social currency. (I stole that from Wikipedia’s definition.)
The following is an incomplete list of everything I’ve found to gain favor, and lose favor. Ways to gain brownie points, and ways to lose them. If you find that any of your habits are among the “lose points” list, maybe you’ll now realize why none of your superiors like you. I also add things in that don’t necessarily have to do with the workplace, as this article is also tagged under the general persuasion topic.
This list is dynamic, and I may add more things as I think of them.
Ways to gain brownie points:
– Staying at work late
– Do someone a favor
– When you pay someone back for something, give them a few extra dollars for no reason, and don’t say anything about it
– Solve problems
– When someone is arguing with you, being mean, yelling at you, or criticizing you, remain calm and don’t argue back, period
– Be nice to people, even those you don’t like
– Be nice to people, even those that everyone dislikes. You don’t have to be friends; just be kind and generous.
– Generosity in general goes a LONG way. You bring in donuts/bananas/pizza for the office and don’t ask for anything, everyone loves you.
Ways to lose brownie points:
– Getting into an argument with anyone, for any reason. It doesn’t matter who, or for what. This is important: If your superior likes you, and dislikes someone you’re arguing with… you will still lose brownie points with your superior. Arguments in general lose points.
– Always trying to get out of work
– Muttering things under your breath
– Never willing to help with things. Even if you think people don’t notice, over time, they do. Even if people never verbally express that you’re not willing to help with things, people do notice.
– Getting someone in trouble obviously loses brownie points with that person