Career Woman

You’ve got this: Deal with somebody taking credit for your work

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

My boss is always taking credit for my work. All my work. He is getting heaps of accolades from his boss, and even won a company award for one project (which was entirely my work). He never mentions me and they have no idea he is just handing the work off to me. I am invisible to them. Susan B.

Susan,

Your boss is a jerk.  There is no nice way to put it.  Your boss is also extremely insecure and lazy.  I can’t imagine taking credit for the work of my team.  I feel like when they are performing well, it is a testament to my leadership.  It irks me to no end to witness leaders who rather lose good staff than to praise their staff and allow them to receive accolades for their accomplishments.

In the meantime, document your projects and ideas through email instead of having conversations solely.  Even if you have a conversation, follow up with an email to recap the dialogue.  You need a paper trail.

Secondly, I think it is important that with your documentation in hand, you confront your boss for clarification.  Not sure how effective your HR Department is but if they are useful, it might be worthwhile to ask guidance from them and to once again, create a paper trail in your conversations with them.  I don’t know much about office politics or dynamics here so I would say use your judgement and discernment carefully with both your boss and the HR team.

One of the mistakes many of us make is that we give everyone the benefit of doubt.  We create excuses for bad behavior and give folks more chances than they deserve.  One of my favorite books changed my perspective on this (and one of my favorites at that) by Freada Kapor Klein entitled, “Giving Notice: Why the Best and Brightest are Leaving the Workplace and How You Can Help Them Stay”.  In a series of wonderfully written and captivating case studies, she elaborates on why so many women and people of color leave companies without sharing their truth.  After you read it, then pass it on to your boss and to HR. Maybe it could be an opportunity for the company to think about how often this happens, the cost of replacing talent, poor morale and decreased productivity.

Actually, after reading it, I can almost promise that you will feel the need to make a decision:  Is it worth your time to remain at a company that doesn’t value your gifts enough to recognize them?  Should you stay to create and be a part of the change? Or Should you leave and go where you can flourish?  Whatever you decide, I support you because you know what is best for you.  Take care of yourself in this environment, Susan.  You. Got. This.

Froswa’

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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