While doing business with a high-ranking colleague, there are a number of ways to gain a psychological edge ... some more conventional than others.
But the surest, oldest strategy in the book is to get said power player to like you — a feat you’ll need to accomplish without coming across as a suckup, because no one likes suckups.
The key to accomplishing that, according to a survey that was published in the Academy of Management Journal? A little positive visualization. As in: think about your superiors/adversaries/clients in a positive light before meeting them; by doing this, you’ll come across as more genuine once you’re face to face.
If executed correctly, the “interpersonal behaviors are less likely to appear as insincere attempts to curry favor, and thus more likely to engender influence.” They also suggest that being “psyched-up to suck up” is “especially valuable when interacting with relatively high-status colleagues who are demographically dissimilar from the focal actor.”
Now go find a mirror and practice, ya’ brown-noser.
Main image via Macall B. Polay/HBO