Darshan – The Vision

Darshan – The Vision

Help! My Co-worker is Taking Credit for My Work

Dear xxx, I work in digital marketing. Few months ago, a colleague, “Guru” and I worked together to draft a proposal for a project, which was approved. I do the work through the month to produce it, and I have no issue with this.

But I recently realized Guru has been showing my work as his own to CEO, despite not being involved since the early planning stages. I thought the first couple of instances may have been unintentional, until a colleague forwarded me a draft of "Guru’s proposal" where he had removed the evidence of the sender (ME!) to claim it as his own.

How should I deal with my credit stealing co-worker? He is extremely friendly to me in all interactions and has no idea I discovered his dirty secret.

The sad truth is that credit stealing happens all the time in any workplace. Often this is because an idea someone has heard becomes relevant in another context, and the someone who heard the idea brings it up—and “forgets” to give credit to the one who proposed it. This behaviour is pervasive, and sometimes it’s not even worth dealing with if it means the expense of your own sanity.

My colleague and friend, Darshan has always been exceptionally deliberate and strategic about giving people credit, so I asked for his thoughts on dealing with such culprits. “Everyone should be evaluated in the workplace based on how much they elevate those around them,” he told me.

He then continued, “There’s nothing positive in being a talebearer to your boss or HR. However, make sure the boss is aware that you do the work, without naming the culprit. But it would be a wise move if done before performance-review cycle closes; that doesn’t mean you need to sit back and watch Guru growing, boasting clever, undermining others. Is there a way to tell him that you saw his email that stripped out your name without disclosing your other colleague as the one who originally shared it?

The key thing is to hint him that you’ve noticed the trend, that you’re paying attention to Guru, and that you don’t like it happening time and again. And keep an eye out for opportunities to subtly keep other colleagues informed (without bragging!) that how much work you put in, that’s a good way to shape the office narrative of who you are and what you contribute.

Sadly, such attempts would only name you a chatter or a sneak. Such pains should be earnestly elicited and prudently addressed by the HR or the Lead; else you would stand being a sorry figure in spite of you being a valuable contributor to the organization”, chuckled Darshan.

I actually got the “Darshan”.

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  • Good one.