Bosses can be tough sometimes, but those whom you directly deal with on a daily basis can be tougher. Often, impressing your boss is not as crucial as it is to stay in the good books of his right-hand man. And contrary to a popular saying, flattery will get you everywhere.
Be alert and pick up on clues to what your colleague or immediate superior(s) want. Does your colleague like to read? Buy a small, portable magazine or book rack to keep beside his chair. They’re reasonably priced, easy to deliver, and for presentation purposes tie a satin bow around the handle. Casually mention that when you saw the rack you immediately thought of his love for reading and bought it on an impulse.
Has his clock stopped working? Browse through your online options and select the most appropriate one. Always be quick to offer to exchange it for him if he mentions it’s not the right size or the right colour.
Always keep hierarchy in mind – your colleague’s gift should be smaller than that of your immediate boss, but equally special. When it comes to gifting the head honcho, discreetly find out what your superior is giving him and select something that is not ostentatiously better. At no point should your colleagues feel that you are trying to upstage them.
The rule of thumb in any organisation is being non-threatening to those who are close to your superior(s) without appearing eager-to-please; you’ll just be named an ass-licker if you do.
Gifts, when chosen thoughtfully and presented intelligently, can go a long way in securing your position in the company. Teaming a great performance with an image of being thoughtful and caring – that’s mastering office politics!