Tips to han­dling a credit steal­ing boss

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

A TOP com­plaint among em­ploy­ees is that em­ploy­ers sim­ply don’t rec­og­nize their con­tri­bu­tions. When a su­per­vi­sor doesn’t ac­knowl­edge the hard work an em­ployee has put in, it makes that em­ployee feel as if all of that work is for noth­ing. This is es­pe­cially true when a boss takes a team mem­ber’s idea and pitches it as his or her own. Over time, busi­nesses that have su­per­vi­sors who do this sort of thing usu­ally end up see­ing higher turnover and lower morale.

It’s easy to feel frus­trated if you de­liver an out­stand­ing rec­om­men­da­tion, only to have your boss re­peat it at the next big meet­ing as though it was their orig­i­nal cre­ation. Es­pe­cially if clients, board mem­bers, or co­work­ers com­pli­ment your boss, you’ll likely find your­self bit­ing your tongue, fear­ing that if you speak up, your job will be at risk. How­ever, there are a few things you can do if your boss has taken credit for your ideas or hard work.

Evaluate. As up­set­ting as this be­hav­ior can be, it’s im­por­tant to check your emo­tions and con­sider if it’s re­ally an is­sue. Don’t make the wrong move, let your ego get in the way and in­sult your boss some­how, which could put your job at risk. It’s en­tirely pos­si­ble your boss could be con­cerned about his or her place in the com­pany and is just grab­bing ideas in a des­per­ate ef­fort to ap­pear rel­e­vant.

Try a dif­fer­ent way of look­ing at the sit­u­a­tion. Your leader’s theft may ac­tu­ally be the recog­ni­tion you’re seek­ing. In many com­pa­nies, the fact that you work un­der a su­per­vi­sor means he or she is re­spon­si­ble for (and can take credit for) your help­ful ideas. Also, the fact that your ideas are worth steal­ing is a com­pli­ment and if you can see it that way, you may be able to even­tu­ally grow com­fort­able with it.

Have wit­nesses. Let’s say that these in­stances of “idea theft” have hap­pened more than once and you feel they are ham­per­ing your abil­ity to ad­vance in your ca­reer. If it’s be­com­ing an on­go­ing is­sue, it might be time to shift your ap­proach. Make sure the rest of the team can see what’s hap- pen­ing. If they have no idea what your boss is do­ing, wait to of­fer ideas or talk about the work you’re do­ing un­til mem­bers of the team are present. Make sure your co­work­ers and col­leagues wit­ness your idea pitches and hard work so that they can vouch for you if it comes down to your word ver­sus your boss’s. Ideally, these wit­nesses will be able to serve as ref­er­ences if you need to move to a new job.

Doc­u­ment. If you’re re­al­iz­ing that your boss plans to take credit for your work, you may feel it’s im­por- tant to start cre­at­ing a pa­per trail in the event you need to demon­strate that you were the ori­gin of the ideas. Work via email as of­ten as you can and even save copies of those emails. You can also make note on your cal­en­dar on those dates when you passed ideas or com­pleted work on cer­tain projects. If your boss some­day leaves or you move to a new job, you’ll have that doc­u­men­ta­tion to sup­port your claims that you were be­hind those suc­cess­ful en­deav­ors, should you be ques­tioned or chal­lenged.

Dis­cuss it. Be­fore you start look­ing for an­other job, con­sider ap­proach­ing your boss to ex­press your con­cerns, es­pe­cially if the theft has oc­curred more than once. Tak­ing credit for your work may never have been their in­ten­tion and once you men­tion that it both­ers you, you may find that your boss gives you full (or at least par­tial) credit mov­ing for­ward. Make sure you give your boss the ben­e­fit of the doubt at first, us­ing word­ing that makes it clear your su­pe­rior may not be aware of the theft at all. Keep emo­tion at bay and use pro­duc­tive, pro­fes­sional lan­guage that men­tions the work you put into the project or idea and how you would pre­fer to be rec­og­nized for that.

Watch­ing your boss take credit for your work can be dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially if it keeps hap­pen­ing and it’s hurt­ing your ca­reer. Keep calm, care­fully con­sider your ap­proach and take mea­sures to doc­u­ment things in case you some­day might need to prove the work was yours.

— En­tre­pre­neur.

BE­ING a loyal mem­ber of the team doesn’t re­quire you be a pas­sive vic­tim.

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