This post of The Lifestyle Maverick blog is devoted to an art that has been handed down through generation upon generation. It is a tactile and albeit testimony to what an individual can accomplish when they put there mind to a certain grindstone. What is this art that transcends all others you ask? It is the simple act of brown nosing, or rather “Getting in Good” with others. There is a simple moniker given to this art of brown nosing that most people refer to and that is one known as “schmoozing”.Schmoozing, brown nosing, or getting in good with others is infact a practiced art and one that , when applied , can open doors to individuals that once were not possible. Now dont get me wrong, I do not endorse rubbing elbows with individuals just for the sake of your betterment or so that you may get something out of it. However, I have figured out that it is easier to make a sale, create joint ventures, or build partnerships with people that you already know than those you have just met. The key component is establishing a relationship before you need it. The key to doing this is found in the design of schmoozing.

Guy Kawasaki, a lifelong entrepreneur and former Microsoft tech junkie, offers these invaluable tips to us on how to use schmoozing to set yourself up for success. Basically, a “How To” on rubbing elbows with others….

1. Understand The Goal– In his book The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking to Change Your Life, Darcy Rezac gives the world’s best definition of shmoozing: “Discovering what you can do for someone else”. Great schmoozers want to know what they can do for you, not what you can do for them. If you understand this, the rest is just mechanics.

2. Get Out – Schmoozing is an analog, contact sport. You can’t do it alone from your office on the phone or via computer. Force yourself to go to trade shows, conventions and seminars. Get out there and press flesh.

3. Ask Good Questions, Then Shut Up – The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot; it is that you can get others to talk a lot. Ask questions like “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “What brings you here?” Then listen. Ironically, you’ll be remembered as an interesting person.

4. Unveil Your Passions – Talking only about business, the matter at hand, etc. is boring. Your passions make you interesting. Good schmoozers unveil their passions after they get to know you. Great schmoozers lead with their passions.

5. Follow Up – In his career Guy has been said to have given away thousands of business cards. If all those people called or emailed him , he would never get anything done. The funny thing: Hardly anyone ever follows up. Great schmoozers follow up within 24 hours — a short email will do. Include one thing that shows the recipient isn’t getting a canned email. ” Nice to meet you. I hope we can do something together. I loved your Breitling watch. I have two tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals if you are interested.”

6. Make It Easy to Contact You – Many people who want to be great schmoozers don’t make it easy to get in touch. They do not carry business cards, or their cards do not have phone numbers and email addresses. Even if they do have the information, it is written in gray 6-point type. This is great if you re schmoozing teenagers, but if you want old, rich, famous and powerful people to call or email you, use 12-point font.

7. Give Favors – One of my great pleasures in life is helping other people; I believe there is a big Karmic schoreboard in the sky. God is keeping track of the good that you do unto others , and He is particularly pleased when you give favors without the expectation of return from the recipient. The scoreboard always pays back.

8. Ask for Favors in Return – Good schmoozers give favors and return favors. But great schmoozers ask for favors to be returned. You may find this puzzling: Isn’t it better to keep someone indebted to you? No, because keeping someone indebted puts undue pressure on your relationship. By asking for and receiving a return favor, you relieve the pressure and set up a whole new round of give and take. After a few rounds, you will be the best of friends, and you will have mastered the art of schmoozing.

Your thoughts? Does schmoozing help elevate relationships ? Rather yet, do relationships hold a certain systematic design, like all other things in life? If so, doe schmoozing hold a key in being able to unlock certain relationships as well as bend others to your advantage? God, I probably sound like a mad scientist right now….