I can hear the famous Bud Light commercial from a few years back as the announcer says, “Today we salute you, Mr. Brown-Noser-Sucker-Upper,” echoed by that famous voice in the background singing those words in a high register. The announcer continues, “You’ve got a set of two lips that can find their way up the narrowest dark cavern as long as it’s attached to the most important person in your life, your boss!” (the singing voice echoes “Oh, it’s your boss”). You have the uncanny ability to ride the elevator every morning and make everyone else who gets in sneeze and cough at you while muttering the phrase “kiss-a__, kiss-a__!” Is that snot, a piece of lettuce, or a string of rotten cheese hanging from your nose? Whatever it is, it seems you keep rubbing it and it just won’t come off even if you use turpentine! So crack open up a Bud Light old butt-sniffing-buddy-of-the-building and let’s see what “Brown” can do for you! Budweiser beer, Anheuser-Busch!

How to Deal With a Brown-Noser Effectively

Brown-nosers are actually nothing to laugh at. These people have the ability to single-handedly ruin the positive and productive chemistry of an entire workplace in a relatively short period of time.

What is exactly is a brown-noser, anyway? It’s a person who tries to trick people into believing their authenticity in trying to gain a certain status with a company or boss when, in fact, it’s usually very easy to see their insincerity. This person may act as if he or she is your friend and will step right over you if they have to  in order to get what they need to move up the ladder of success.

Brown-nosers come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes. They will sometimes put other people down behind their backs to make themselves appear more qualified for a task at hand and they have knack for withholding information from people they consider a threat to their work status.

Company owners and bosses beware; these types of workers have to be addressed quickly once an allegation surfaces so you can “nip it in the bud” or risk the profitability of your business.

How to Avoid Looking Like a Brown-Noser in the Workplace

If you are someone who likes to compliment people, it’s easy to be mistaken for a brown-noser if you are not careful. You don’t have to be paranoid about having your words “taken in the wrong way.”  After all, we have been taught to say nice things to other people from the time we are barely able to walk, right?

Still, there are things that are acceptable to say to a supervisor and things you should not say.  Compliments to your superiors should be used sparingly and if you have to say something, ask yourself, “Would I say the same thing to one of my subordinates or peers?” If you wouldn’t, then you are probably crossing into brown-nosing land and you risk people taking it as such.

People who don’t brown-nose are usually great listeners and they don’t hesitate to help another worker as a team effort to complete a task for the benefit of the company. They are unselfish and will only give constructive criticism to help you with job performance in confidence behind closed doors. They are sincere and genuinely care about other people and they never hesitate to share important company information as a means to solve problems. And yes, they will occasionally give someone a sincere, well-deserved compliment.

How to Deal With a Brown-Noser

So, how do we deal with people who are coming across as brown-nosers? For bosses and company owners, this is very simple. An excellent strategy is to call the person into the office and point out to them with all due respect, you have noticed some of his or her remarks appear a bit insincere and although you are appreciative, you are concerned about how other employees perceive the remarks because you want to maintain a positive, respectful culture in your workplace.

For a worker, it’s not as easy. The first step should not be to tell your boss. You should talk to this person one on one and in a positive, helpful manner, let the person know you and others what have noticed,  and give the person a chance to correct the behavior. Offer the person some help in that area and do your best to help build a relationship with that person instead of burning bridges. You would be surprised at how often people simply need some guidance to help them see the light!