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Monday, March 13, 2017

Avoid Office Sycophancy

One of the most characteristic maladies among very many individuals is sycophancy, which is aptly called chaaploosi (etymologically, chappal: footwear and ' loosna ': To pick up in Khari Boli  Hindi). People curry favour with a view to getting their works done. Ingratiating with the high and mighty is a universal trend and a fundamental human nature. This bad habit becomes palpably all the more obvious at a workplace and is known as professional sycophancy or apple-polishing. The apple-polishers or sycophants leave no stone unturned to please their bosses, employing all the sycophantic tricks in their quivers. There're four distinct types of office sycophants -


Type A- Sycophants-cum-informers
Type B- Fawning and lacking self-respect
Type C- To be forever at the boss' beck and call
Type D- Yes Sir/Yes Ma'am kind

How sycophancy starts at a workplace:

Sycophancy, especially professional or office sycophancy, stems from a person's abject professional inefficiency. Only those who're good-for-nothing, resort to apple-polishing and they swarm around their bosses to please them all the time. 'Job insecurity often begets office sycophancy, ' opined Rob Cartel of the Media Management Institute, New Jersey.

How sycophants survive and thrive:

Sycophants survive on the basic human instinct of hearing good about oneself. They (sycophants) use this deep-seated human trait to their advantage and keep admiring their boss even when the latter is wrong!

Allowing themselves to be used as decoys and baits:

More often than not, sycophants allow themselves to be used by their seniors as they (sycophants/toadies) often provide intimate and embarrassing pieces of information about other staff.

Why sycophancy must be avoided:

Canadian psychologist Dan Weizin states 6 reasons which make sycophancy, particularly office sycophancy, so reprehensible:

1. Office sycophancy is self-degrading.

2. A sycophant is avoided by all at a workplace.

3. Even the boss is aware that a sycophant is a fair-weather sympathiser/well-wisher.

4. A sycophant vitiates the office atmosphere.

5. Sycophancy and dishonesty go hand in hand. So sycophants are quickly branded as dishonest colleagues.

6. Sycophancy stunts self-growth and impedes one's ascendancy on the career graph.

Ergo, drop this habit like a hot potato. Boot-licking of boss takes one nowhere and eventually a sycophant is booted out of the organization! I'm sure, no one wants this dismal fate to befall him/her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ------- Sumit Paul

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