Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Manipulation Flattery

Should I say anything to an employee who I know is trying to flatter me so that I will give him a better raise or think of him for a promotion? It's nice to be complimented, but he has carried this to an extreme. Any suggestions?

All that you need to say to an employee whose communication is laced with compliments is, "Thanks." There are many ways for employees to create grief for their managers, but this is one of the most benign.

Somewhere along the way, this employee may have heard or read that managers enjoy receiving positive feedback from the troops, as this can leave a positive image in the manager's mind when opportunities arise. Your employee has misinterpreted this information by assuming that if some flattery may help, then massive amounts should put him over the top.

The problem is that his behavior is over the top. Rather than confronting him and possibly embarrassing him for trying to look good, it will make more sense to provide him with more information on the criteria that determine pay increases and advancement in the company. Let him see that raises, promotions, and special opportunities are provided to employees who demonstrate the highest levels of performance, productivity, and commitment, as opposed to those who demonstrate the highest levels of flattery.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!

Reader comments

Posted by Tresa Caldeira on 2011-11-19 18:43:09
Thanks for providing really informative entries on your blog. How can I add it to bookmarks?
Posted by Hattie Honeycutt on 2011-11-25 11:49:25
Thanks for providing this review. It is really useful for me.