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Guy Kawasaki on "Sucking Down"

A nice piece by Guy Kawasaki on "the art of sucking down" -- what he calls "the ability to suck up to the folks who don't have big titles but make the world run", like ticket agents, receptionists, administrative assistants, and the like. His nine points are:

  1. Understand the dynamic
  2. Understand their needs
  3. Be important
  4. Make them smile
  5. Don't try to buy your way in
  6. But do express your gratitude on the way out
  7. Never complain
  8. Rack up the karmic points
  9. Accept what cannot be changed
Basically, it all reduces down to practicing the golden rule, no matter how right, angry, harried, or powerful you are. I've never thought about this with Guy's level of detail, but I have always found that being nice to customer service people is much more likely to get results than being angry with them. And if things really go south -- the airline loses my luggage, the restaurant loses my reservation -- they're much more likely to help me if they're feeling sympathy for me, and they're much more likely to feel sympathy for me if I'm being gracious instead of angry.

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