“My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”-Indira Gandhi
You are sitting in a conference room listening to the ideas and suggestions of your colleagues. Suddenly, one of your co-workers suggests an idea which is appreciated by everyone. As you scribble down your notes, you realize that it is the same idea that you want to put forward. Wait for a second….have you ever discussed about it with your colleagues? Yes…..! It means both your idea and credit has been stolen by your workmate.
Here are some tips to protect your ideas and credit from being stolen by your co-worker.
1. Speak up!
Sometimes, you are not much confident to share your ideas in team meeting. In this case, you share your ideas personally with 2 or 3 members of the team. But, what happens next is that your colleague is sharing the same idea in the meeting as if it is his very own idea. Now, if you’d say that it was your idea, no one would trust you. Take a lesson from this incidence. The next time, when a great idea strikes you, express it directly in the meeting.
2. Be Smarty
Many times, we plan to discuss our ideas with our colleagues just to know how the boss would react on hearing it. Be tricky and smart! Don’t discuss the important facts. In case, your colleague steals your idea and present in the meeting as his own, you can put forward the additional facts. As your workmate would not have this information, you will be considered as an expert at the topic.
3. Reframe Your Views
If your idea has been stolen, you can handle it by congratulating the person in front of everyone in the meeting for communicating your idea in an effective manner. Reframe your views and put it in a creative manner. After meeting, talk to the person directly and gain his agreement that it will never happen again in the future.
4. Put Your Name
If you have prepared any presentation or spreadsheet document, then put your name on it by using the ‘headers and footers’ function. On a spreadsheet, headers and footers appear only on an actual printed document or on print preview. Your colleague might submit it to your boss as his own. But, when your boss will check it, he would understand the whole story. In case, your workmate removes your name, you can know about it when the document comes back to you. If it happens 2-3 times, don’t take it leniently! Discuss the issue with your senior.
5. Don’t Be Friendly
If your co-worker is stealing your ideas and credit repeatedly, and you are not taking any action because you don’t want to ruin your relationship with him/her, then you are doing a VERY BIG MISTAKE! Not dealing with this issue gives freedom to the colleague to go on with his unethical behaviour. And, it will sabotage your career. So, raise your voice for the right and protect your credit.