On the top 10 list of worst things to happen to you at work, someone else taking credit for your work certainly takes a top spot.
Not only are you robbed of your accolades, but you also have to deal with the feeling of being robbed and cheated.
It feels sorta like taking candy from a baby but in this case, you’re the baby.
It could be that your name was omitted from the list of those acknowledged for a project done collectively, or your superior took credit for a piece they did absolutely no work on.
There are several instances in which someone else could take credit for your work.
Sometimes it’s intentional and other times it’s an oversight. But that doesn’t take away the pain.
This is why we will be talking about how to effectively respond when someone takes credit for your work.
What To Do When Someone Takes Credit For Your Work
1. Take A Minute To Gather Your Emotions
When you’re discredited or overshadowed, at that moment your emotions are all over the place.
You might be feeling a mix of sadness, anger, confusion, and hurt.
Attempting to nip this discrediting act in the bud might cause way more harm than good.
Especially if this happens during a meeting with the big bosses.
Lashing out then and there will probably not help your case.
In fact, in a bid to defend yourself you may even give the person another chance to discredit you some more(This is for the ones who did it intentionally).
2. Don’t Jump to Conclusions
There’s no doubt that it’s totally unfair and wrong what’s been done to you.
But have you considered that just maybe it was an oversight?
The person who took credit for your work may have forgotten, maybe in a moment of anxiety said “I” instead of “We” or your name.
By considering that they didn’t have any malicious intent, it makes it easier for you to decide your next move.
You should also consider if it’s as bad as it seems.
Does the fact that someone else took credit for your work harm your career?
Will it cause you to be viewed as lazy and nonchalant?
If it was one of your superiors who took credit, does it put you in their good books or bad books?
Would it put you in their bad books, and give you a bad rep at work?
So before you decide on your next move, think about what could be the reason for their actions.
3. Appeal to their soft side
Bearing in mind that they didn’t intentionally steal your credit, approach them calmly and appeal to them.
Appeal to their conscience and heart.
Don’t start attacking and accusing. Start by showing them you’re not trying to make yourself superior but acknowledged.
Get them to empathize with you and see things from your eyes.
4. Speak with Someone Else
If no. 3 doesn’t work, and you feel you must do something about it, then you can speak to a superior(after careful consideration of course). Pick someone who can help, is understanding, and can advise you on the best way to take things forward.
How To Take Credit For Your Work
If you’ve tried all of the above and want to take back what belongs to you or prepare for next time, here are a few things you can do.
1. Prepare Ahead
When working on a project with other colleagues, discuss who will take credit for what.
Don’t wait until it’s time to deliver then, you start hoping the colleague presenting does the right thing.
You can even create a chart, an agreement, or a slide listing everyone and their contributions.
This way everyone involved can come back to it later to see who was supposed to do what.
2. Speak Up
Sometimes it is impossible to get credit for your ideas and effort when you pass everything through your boss first.
Who in turn presents it to the top dogs. So what you can do is overprepare.
During the meeting occasionally share this knowledge with others present.
This way you don’t make your boss look bad and others still get to see your potential.
Or if your boss is constantly asking for your input on a project he took undue credit for.
When you reply via email, CC others as well. It’s a smart way to let others know that you are the brains behind it all.
How To Respond When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work (Script)
Don’t get caught off guard the next time someone takes credit for your work. Here’s a script our NetWerk team created to help you respond with ease and sophistication. Hang on to this in case someone tries you at work.
What they meant to say was....[Enter What Really Happened]. I....[Highlight Your Contributions]. And because of that, I was able to....[Enter your Results].
Reacting When Someone Takes Credit For Your Work
When you are not awarded your due credit it’s best to take a step back and access the situation.
It’s always easy to react immediately and attack the person for taking credit for your work. But this is seldom the best option.
So calmly think about the situation, don’t assume anything, and try to appeal to the person.
If that doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to involve one of your superiors.
Over To You
Have you ever had someone take to credit your work? How did you handle that situation? Let us know in the comments section @netwerkmovement.