What to do if your boss is stealing your ideas – The problem of a boss stealing his employees’ ideas usually appears early in their careers when they have no way to fight back. Once an employee gains a certain status, they usually find ways to get around and talk to their boss.
Additionally, most companies do not actively engage with this type of behavior by not having clear guidelines and value statements that would highlight the importance of recognizing employee contributions and original ideas.
There is nothing more infuriating than someone to take credit for your work. This has all happened at one point or another: you share an idea with a colleague and then hear him repeat it in a meeting; you’re late to finish the presentation but your team member accepts all the praise; you were leading a long-awaited project to completion and your boss was telling the senior officials he was doing it. How should you deal with it if your boss is stealing your ideas?
Should your boss get credit for something you did exceptionally well?
As a rising star in your organization, you feel that you owe a lot to your boss. After all, they are the one who believed in you and helped pave your way so far. And rightly so, you see one of the most important professional goals for managers are to help make your boss look good. So you are always trying to create new and interesting ideas to improve your section. This is impressive of course and will help you not only stand out in what you do now, but also increase your chances of being promoted in the future.
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In larger companies, you likely work under the supervision of a boss. Different companies have different types of bosses. Some bosses are very inspiring unlike some bosses are very incompetent and never can do their tasks well. Because of this, these bosses a number of times have gone so far as to get credit for work that they haven’t even done.
If your boss is stealing your ideas or you find that something like this is also happening to you in the workplace, here are some things you can do to help you along the way. This is a delicate situation so deal with it in an appropriate manner; otherwise you might end up getting fired.
Does your boss take a lot of credit for your work? If so, what is the line between your boss taking advantage of team work and engaging in idea theft and self-promotion? How do you fight to ensure that your business gets due recognition in the company, other than your boss, while maintaining relationships? It is not easy.
Reasons your boss may be stealing your ideas
- Bosses may feel threatened by subordinates who are more creative or intelligent than they are. This makes them believe that they must protect their role at all costs. The idea of praising their employees for great ideas and valuable work makes them uncomfortable.
- Some bosses believe they are entitled to own everything that their team produces. Since many of them face many challenges – from poor profits to hassled clients and delayed projects – they will naturally want to present something positive as their own, even if they weren’t the creators of the idea.
- Other superiors may really believe that others will receive the concepts better with their names attached to them. By having an idea, they want to improve the chances of it being taken seriously by decision makers.
- Best case scenario – It could also be just an unintended mistake or a pure misunderstanding.
What to do if your boss is stealing your ideas
· Evaluate the situation
When you first start to feel that your boss is taking credit for your ideas for the first time, your first step is not to unleash anger at authorities who are trying to get revenge or revenge. Take a step back to get a valuable perspective and assess the situation. Is your boss really stealing your ideas or just compiling and submitting work to the team reporting to him or her? Are you absolutely sure that you are not getting credit for your work?
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Just because you may not receive instant flattery of your thoughts doesn’t mean that your efforts go unnoticed. Maybe your manager isn’t the over-tempered type, but he nonetheless values your contributions and gives credit where you deserve it in a subtle way, or simply waits for the next review period to give you the rewards you deserve? The bottom line – make sure you know for sure that your boss is stealing your thoughts before you get on with things.
· Find out whether the situation affects your career
If your boss takes credit for the work you do, you should make it a point to jot down exactly how this affects your career. Often times, it’s things like this that drive people to get promotions. So, if your manager takes credit for you, chances are that no one will notice you and think of you as a capable person. Before you go to complain to anyone, make it a point to jot down exactly when and at what time they got credit for the projects they worked on. Giving specific examples is really important to help your case.
· Talk to them privately
On the next available opportunity, you want to schedule a private meeting with your boss. Ideally, you want to set aside at least thirty minutes of their time talking to you face to face. During the meeting, you want to start with any positive appreciation for helping them with the idea or project. If they provide some extra support, time, or resources, thanks them for that. Next, you want to make a brief overview of your thoughts, actions, or work on the project. Make sure to highlight all the positive outcomes for which you have been responsible.
Then, go to a company meeting, group email, or specific event when they got the credit. You might say something like, “When the project was being discussed with a wider group, I noticed that my contribution was not mentioned (or was barely recognized). Why was this the case?” Give them time to respond.
· Create a plan to protect your ideas
No matter your boss responds or accepts any wrongdoing, you need a plan to protect your thoughts. You cannot control the way they might behave or behave. Reviews of performance, promotions, salary, and career progression in that organization depend on your view of others as a valuable asset. If your company doesn’t have a system for sending out new ideas, consider talking to others (in operations, administration, or human resources) about creating a “suggestion box” or idea-generating contests. The key here is to be genuine in these conversations. You don’t want to sound negative or as if you are around your boss. Finally, you may decide to keep your best ideas for yourself until you are in a very public forum (such as a management or company meeting), so that they can be properly attributed to you.