Something frustrating happened to me a while ago- I did something awesome at work, like, really awesome. It was a really brilliant idea, a stroke of my own genius. I was working with a colleague on a one off day-project, and when the boss congratulated us both, he accepted the congratulations for my idea, not only that, but continued to talk as though the idea had been mostly his. And yes, it was one individual and it’s never happened to me before, but it set me to thinking.
Now I know we’re supposed to collaborate, work as a team and all of that – BUT, we should also celebrate when someone in that team does something awesome and recognise them for it.
It’s actually really hard (I learned) when someone’s taking the credit for your work and ideas to step forward and say ‘Actually, you didn’t do any of it, I DID!’ because let’s face it, it makes you sound a bit pedantic and petty. But I think it’s important that we find a way to point it out. There are, I’m sure, many diplomatic ways of standing up for ourselves when someone else is basking in our glory. Perhaps quietly to them after, because I’m sure any decent person would be mildly mortified if they realised they’d stolen somebody else’s credit, or at getting caught at doing it.
And equally as importantly, we could check what we’re taking the credit for, ensuring we don’t pinch the credit from others. It’s tempting when someone mis-congratulates you for something to want to revel in that good feeling, but it’s important to transfer those congratulations on to the right person. Also – that we really give our friends and colleagues the recognition when they do something awesome, even if, deep down, we are wishing that it had have been our idea.
It all comes back to that old chestnut – there is plenty of success to be had by everyone – so we don’t need to build ourselves from other people’s.