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Talking to Crazy by Mark Goulston

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chapter 16

The Butter-Up

Getting a Know-It-All to Behave

Few People annoy us more than know-it-alls. I’m not talking here about subject-matter experts who aren’t arrogant but simply love to share what they know. I’m talking about the know-it-alls who offend you by rubbing their supposed superiority in your face.

But are these people’s actions crazy? Yes—because they constantly sabotage themselves, and the know-it-alls who really are smart are wasting their own potential. Chet, for example, was a master at stepping on his own feet by insisting on getting his own way.

When it came to marketing his firm’s IT services, Chet was brilliant. He understood the technology, and he understood his customers’ needs. Under his direction, his firm’s marketing ...

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