You’re probably more inclined to speak up when someone takes your sandwich out of the office fridge than you are when a co-worker steals one of your ideas. We shouldn’t have to tell you that the latter is much more detrimental to your life than just an empty stomach.
“When reviews come up, these are the things you haven’t gotten credit for,” says Daryl Pigat, metro market manager for OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service. “If it’s a continual problem, you can be viewed as a pushover or someone who doesn’t speak up on their own behalf.”
According to Pigat, the office idea bandit is striking more than ever. “Right now, we’re finding a much more competitive landscape in offices, due to cuts and lay-offs,” he says. “If you have a job, it’s more important to hold onto it, so this means many people are finding alternate ways to stay in their managers’ minds.”
They’re taking credit for ideas that aren’t their own. And if you’re not assertive enough to stand up, they’ll get away with it. Make sure that doesn’t happen with these tips:
Report up. Use status updates to remind your manager of your ideas and the progress being made to implement them.
Look for patterns. If a minor contribution is occasionally overlooked, you may decide to let it go. However, if other people routinely get credit for your ideas, it’s a sign that you need to be more assertive.
Don’t act in haste. When someone receives credit for your idea, be sure to give your colleague the opportunity to present his or her side of the story to you.
Set the record straight. If you are credited with a co-worker’s idea, be sure to swiftly correct the situation.