Dealing with a credit-stealing boss

You’ve Worked Weekends, put in the longest hours and gone over every last detail time and again to ensure that your project presentation is as perfect as it can be. And right on schedule, you’ve handed it to your superior to present on your behalf at the board meeting. But even as you sit back, confident of the compliments pouring in, your boss saunters out beaming, as the company’s top brass congratulate him on a job well-done. You, on the other hand, don’t even merit a mention!

Surprised? Fuming with anger? Like many others out there, it’s been your misfortune to be saddled with a boss of the type better known as a credit stealer. A common enough situation… But nonetheless, still a mighty hard cross to bear. Specially when your boss is a master at never giving credit to subordinates and declares every good idea, as his own!

So, what does one do in a situation like this? The first instinct, naturally, would be to blow a fuse. But that’s obviously not the smartest option. Not if you want to continue in the same workplace, that is. It’s far better to try and resolve things in a tactful manner, so you don’t end up pushing the wrong buttons, and yet get credit where credit is due. Here are some quick fixes on how to handle him!

Protect Your Work…
Get together with other colleagues whose ideas he steals and try and come up with solutions. For instance, instead of sharing ideas with your boss in private, you could present them at meetings where the minutes are recorded. Alternatively, you could write memos about ideas you have discussed and forward copies to the overall boss as well as other colleagues. Or keep things in writing, be it on paper or e-mail. So you can forward the original to your superior and another copy to his boss. That way, there’s no risk of your ideas not being credited to you.

Play it Smart…
Your ideas are obviously good, which is why the boss is stealing them. But it also means that he is probably insecure about his own abilities and may feel that you pose a threat. Try and turn this situation to your own advantage. Your boss is obviously not getting enough praise for his own ideas. Make it a point to admire your boss’ work and ask him for suggestions on how you can polish up your own and deliver better results. Showing him some respect may just throw him pleasantly off balance and turn the situation into a less combative one.

Develop a Rapport…
Try and develop a rapport with the boss by finding out areas where the two of you can relate to each other. Create a situation wherein you make him understand that good work on your part makes him look good as well. Especially when you regularly emphasise, how encouraging your Boss is!

Report to Bosses Boss…
It’s surely the last resort. But things may get to that point where no other methods work, and your boss continues to palm off your ideas as his own. In this case, you may have to report your boss’ behaviour to his supervisor. And then hope for the best. There are a few organisations which are open to taking proactive action but be prepared for the possibility of getting branded as a trouble-maker.

If you have faced such situation in your career, how you dealt with it? Let other know and benefit from your experience..

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