Warning: Is Someone Else Stealing The Credit For Your Work?
“I was surprised to see him present my work as his own! He didn’t even bother to acknowledge me for it. What should I do? What should I do so this never gets repeated again with me in future?“
Ever experienced like this before in your life……
How many times have you ever felt that your co-worker is getting the credit for all the hard work that you are doing?
Do you feel betrayed or disheartened when he/she is getting recognized for, which in fact, you deserved?
You slogged day and night only to see someone else climbing the podium and taking the award.
Are you looking for a job change because you are being overlooked or under appreciated?
If you are part of the corporate culture, I guess many of us would have felt this way in some or the other time in our career.
But most of us shy away from talking or telling their Managers about it.
Let’s face it.
We don’t want to be viewed as a “whiny child”
We feel scared to raise our voice.
“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing.” The Picture of Dorain Gray
In this post, I would like to expose you on how you can work on ways to get credit for your work. But before we dive into the “how part“, let us first do something which is logical, will enhance your credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the management and your manager.
Still with me…
Let Your Manager Know About it First.
Its your first and foremost responsibility to inform your manager on something which is upsetting you. Any “decent boss” will always like to know why you feeling that ways and I am keeping my “fingers crossed” that your boss is decent and genuinely thinks for your development. So your first thing is how to approach him, sounding genuine, and not making yourself talk like a “whiny child”.
The Art Of Sharing Information – How To Approach Him?
Your gesture and your tone should sound as if your are “concerned” and not that you are “complaining” about anything. You are not here to question on why your co-worker was recognized rather you want to inquire on what basis a recognition was given and where you need to do things differently.
This will open doors for a discussion on 2 points:-
a) The Criteria Behind the Recognition
When your manager will hear your concern, he might be in a position to share with you that the person got recognized for something else and not for the project that you both were working on. This will help to clear your doubt on whether that person actually took credit for your work or not. Sometimes, without thinking, we start assuming things based on our perceptions.
In case, he was recognized for the same project that you both were working, you can ask your manager as to what was the evaluation criteria behind the recognition.
Was it for a specific contribution or project deliverable?
Was it for a single person or the entire team?
Was it for some time duration?
These things will help you develop a better understanding on how things were viewed by the management and why didn’t your name appeared on the “list”. It will also help you to know how your manager perceives your work and how you should get recognized or what are your prospects for getting recognized in future.
b) Your Role and Contribution
If the recognition was based on the same project work, you now have an opportunity to share with your manager the role you played in the entire project. Take all the back up data, reports, files etc as a proof on what amount of effort and work you did for turning that project into a success.
May be you discover that your manager genuinely didn’t realize your efforts you had put in the project or he himself was annoyed with the management’s decision on not including your name in the recognition. Things will fall in place, once you start communicating with him.
Sometimes, communication, done in a structured manner, does help in clearing the air and reducing confusion and future confrontations.
Its not always easy to get the credit that you truly deserve. One can do great work, but if no one knows about your contribution in the results, you will never get recognized. People tend to work “behind the scenes” and are not interested in “blowing their own trumpet” as they think its against their morals and values. Some people are smart enough to take the credit, when credit isn’t due to them. This is a common practice followed in the overly competitive corporate world today.
Don’t let “Perceptions” turn into a “Reality“.
Its not always easy to change well established “Perceptions“.
See How Easily You Can Learn to Do These 5 Simple Steps To Get Credit For What You Deserve.
1. Let Your Manager Be Informed on All Projects That You Are Working On
Keep your boss or manager in loop on the the various projects that you are currently working on. This information sharing with him will help you in two forms.
a) He knows the level of your participation and can share this information in relevant forums across the organization. Most of the senior managers have the privilege of representing their function or department in various platforms in an organization. This way others will also know about your role and contribution and in turn help them to evaluate your role at the time of the recognition.
b) He will build trust and appreciate your gesture that you like to keep him informed on the projects that you are working on.
2. Create a Visibility for Yourself
Some people are tactful in “blowing their own horn“. To stop this behavior and let others know about your contribution, start sharing on what you have done to make the project a success. Create a space for yourself. Let people know of your capabilities. There’s a difference between “bragging” and “informing“. I appreciate that you take the latter approach for creating a unique visibility for yourself.
Don’t leave the door open for anybody to take the credit when something is actually yours.
3. Try Taking Projects, That You Can Handle and “Owe” Independently
Be confident and have faith in your knowledge and skills. Take initiatives. Become a solution provider. Be the first one to look for project opportunities that you can handle and “owe” them independently. Even a small project can result in contributing significantly in the overall organizational objectives.
Get out of your comfort zone and take things that you can manage easily in your platter.
4. Ensure That There Is A Proper And Timely Review Of All the Projects That You Are Working On
A timely and formal review will always help you in moving in the right direction. It will also do an informed communication to the concerned reviewer as to “who is” doing “what“. Make this review meeting on not just sharing results but also on how your ideas helped in achieving the desired results. These type of meetings will directly impact how others will view you and your value in the organization.
Word of mouth is one of the oldest and the most effective forms of marketing. Let your work speak for you and help in establishing your brand.
5. Give Credit To Your Team Members Who Genuinely Helped You In The Project Work
‘A Leader Should Know How to Manage Failure’
(Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam at Wharton India Economic forum , Philadelphia , March 22, 2008)
I read this interesting excerpt from the interview of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam where he shared how the then chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof. Satish Dhawan held the press conference and took the entire responsibility of the failure on his own shoulders. One thing that was learnt from this episode was that “when failure occurred, the leader of the organization owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team“.
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
Did you ever experience that someone took your share of the credit? What did you do? Did you tell anyone about it? What was his or her reaction on it.? Share your experiences in the comments section below.