You walk into work and discover that one of your coworkers has taken credit for your work. This act is something that occurs more often than you think. It also means that you are not alone. Here are five do’s and don’ts to utilize in this situation and a few tips to ensure that this does not happen again.
Do: Calm Down
The second you figure out that someone else has taken credit for your work, you may be furious. That is an understandable emotion, but you have to take a few deep breaths and calm down. The more frustrated you feel, the higher the chance you will say/do something you might regret.
Don’t: Out The Coworker
Your coworker might not have done it for a malicious reason. The act could be an accident or a simple misunderstanding that you two could laugh about in the future. For that reason alone, you never want to out the coworker, especially in front of fellow employees. This situation should only stay between you, the coworker, and your boss.
Do: Speak With Your Boss
Speaking of your boss, you need to communicate with them once you find out about the stolen credit. The longer you wait, the less believable it is that a coworker took credit for your work.
Don’t: Assume The Worst
Does this mean you will have an HR department complaint on your record forever? Will this incident ruin your relationship with the rest of your coworkers? Don’t jump to conclusions. It’s not OK for someone to take credit for your work. If you are proud of your work, you should not regret the course of action you have to take to get it back.
Do: Discuss This With The Coworker
Now that you have calmed down, it’s a good idea to pull the coworker who stole your work aside and have a private conversation with them. Not only could you receive a genuine apology from them, but you could arrange for them to write a statement confirming that they did take ownership of work that was not their own.
1. Sharing Your Idea Among A Group: Creating a group brainstorming session to pitch ideas assures that you receive credit for your work and enables you to look out for the rest of your team.
2. Speak With Your Boss: Before starting your project, communicate your full-fledged idea with your boss to cover all of your bases.
3. Document Everything: Have an idea? Write it down. This way, if someone attempts to take credit for it, you will have time-stamped documents to prove that you came up with the idea first.
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