Wednesday, July 17, 2024

8 Ways To Manage A Credit Grabber Coworker


8 Ways To Manage A Credit Grabber Coworker


How do you feel about this story?


When a coworker claims your work in front of the team, your first instinct might not be to tell them they are lying. Instead, you might be left unable to speak and just stare at them until the meeting is over. Even if you want to interrupt, the amount of applause and cheers for that coworker might be overwhelming.

Sometimes, a misattribution can happen where your boss mistakenly credits your coworker. When this happens, you should say something like, “Oh, it’s actually me who did that part, and Coworker A did this part instead.” This is a good way to open up because it gives both you and your coworker recognition, avoiding any conflict between the two of you over the incident.

However, there will be moments when a coworker greedily claims your work as theirs because they crave recognition so much. When this happens, it is important for you to learn how to reclaim what is yours because you deserve acknowledgment.

Here are six ways you can respond to someone taking credit for your work:

1. Document Your Work

Keep detailed records of your work, including emails, drafts, and notes. This documentation can serve as proof of your contributions. Regularly update a log or journal with your tasks and accomplishments. Share your progress updates with your manager to keep them informed.

This practice helps establish a clear trail of your work. When discussing projects, refer to your notes to provide specific examples. It can also be useful if you need to escalate the issue.

2. Speak Up Immediately

Address the issue as soon as it happens. Politely but firmly correct the narrative in meetings or emails.

For example, say, “I believe I actually worked on that part of the project.” Immediate correction prevents misunderstandings and shows that you are aware and assertive. Remaining silent can be seen as acceptance.

Make sure to stay calm and professional when speaking up. Avoid sounding confrontational to maintain a positive atmosphere. Timely intervention can stop the behavior from becoming a pattern and sets a precedent that your work should be acknowledged.

3. Have A Private Conversation

Request a private meeting with the coworker. Use a neutral tone to express your concerns. Explain how their actions affect you and the team. Focus on specific incidents without making it personal. Use “I” statements, such as “I felt overlooked when my contribution wasn’t mentioned.”

This approach can make the conversation less confrontational. Listen to their perspective as well. Sometimes, they may not realize the impact of their actions. Aim for a constructive dialogue to find a resolution.

4. Be Less Helpful

Whenever this coworker reaches out to ask for “help” on their task and you know that you will be doing the work, stop helping by being less helpful. This person is stepping on your capabilities to gain favor or advantage.

This does not mean you have to be rude or nasty when they approach you, but you can suddenly become very busy when they reach out. This ensures that they don’t bother you and that you don’t do their work only to go unrecognized.

5. Take Your Response Publicly

If your coworker loves asking for your input privately so others do not know where their expertise is coming from, start taking your responses publicly. They may message you their question or drag you to a corner when they begin asking.

When that happens, delay your response by saying, “I will send you my response shortly,” or “I will tell you about it later when I have the chance.” Say that in a statement form rather than asking for their confirmation to allow you to respond later.

Then, bring up the answer during a team meeting or in your group chat by saying, “I have thought about your question, Coworker A, and I think this is the best way to do that.” You can do this via email too by CC-ing the team and saying, “Coworker A, this is my suggestion. Coworker B, what are your suggestions?”

You are not doing this to shame them but to make yourself look better to a broader audience and for their awareness as well.

6. Communicate With Your Manager

If the issue persists, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss the problem. Present your documentation and specific examples. Explain how the situation affects your motivation and productivity.

Request their assistance in addressing the problem because managers can intervene or provide guidance on the best course of action. They may suggest ways to improve team dynamics. Ensure you frame the conversation as seeking a solution, not just complaining. Highlight the importance of fair credit for team morale.

7. Build Your Reputation

Consistently deliver high-quality work to establish a strong professional reputation. Be proactive in sharing your achievements with your team and manager. Participate in discussions and offer valuable input.

A good reputation can make it harder for others to claim your work. People will already associate you with excellence. Take on visible projects that showcase your skills. Seek feedback to continuously improve. A solid reputation can also attract more opportunities. It helps you stand out in a competitive work environment.

8. Leverage Performance Reviews

Use performance reviews as an opportunity to highlight your contributions. Prepare a detailed list of your accomplishments and projects. Present specific examples and outcomes. Discuss any challenges you’ve overcome and how you’ve added value.

Performance reviews are formal settings where your work is officially recognized. Request feedback on areas where you can improve. Ask your manager for recognition of your contributions. This can be documented in your review.

Address any concerns about credit-stealing during this meeting. Performance reviews can solidify your professional standing and ensure your efforts are acknowledged.

Handling credit-grabbing situations can be challenging and infuriating. You might not know whether to speak up or stay quiet to avoid conflicts. But it is important to remember that you deserve to be recognized for your ideas, thoughts, and efforts. Do not ever let anyone think they can use and disregard you after your contribution helped them receive praise.