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Taking credit for my ideas - how do I tackle without looking petty?

(10 Posts)
pestkontrol Thu 07-Mar-13 08:01:12

So I'm doing communications/marketing for an organisation. I get on well with the Senior Management (I think) - they are generally supportive, open to new ideas. I'm lucky in many respects.

But they keep taking credit for my ideas! I mention something in a meeting, a month or so later, it's emailed around the team as one of the managers' ideas! And I just smile and say, Wow, X, that was a great idea!

I have to say, I don't know if this is deliberate. They may have forgotten it was my idea. My last review was very positive but 'plodding' (oh, she's so organised, conscientious etc) - so perhaps they have decided, I'm the plodding one, and they have labelled themselves as the creative ones.

This may seem petty when I'm lucky enough to have a job with nice people, but in my line, you are your ideas. So it's impt they are accredited. (And they are quick enough to credit each other for their ideas).

So how do I say, next time this happens, BUT THAT WAS MY IDEA...

...without looking 14 years old?

Themobstersknife Thu 07-Mar-13 08:07:19

It isn't petty! The same has happened to me. It was eating away at me for ages and ultimately destroyed my relationship with my manager. I should have said something sooner rather than let it go that far. I think you need to be subtle about it. When the idea is communicated, I would email back to say - glad to see my idea is getting off the ground, or expand on the email and explain how you came up with the idea. Really difficult situation to be in but make sure you get the credit!

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Mar-13 10:17:22

If you bring up an idea, then email after it to say 'Just want to expand on this idea I had blah blah', then its concrete that it was yours.

I know people who do this grabbing credit, and its infuriating

TheFallenNinja Thu 07-Mar-13 10:20:05

I would hit reply all and say thanks for showing everyone my ideas, how fortunate I am to have managers that pass credit to where its due.

thatsnotmypineapple Thu 07-Mar-13 10:29:40

Agree with CMOT; after every meeting send an email around summarising what was discussed, who suggested what and who is going to take things forward etc. Even better if they are minuted, but for informal meetings that might be taking it a bit far grin.

squiddle Thu 07-Mar-13 10:30:09

I think this could easily be accidental. You should work on your meeting skills so that when you speak people actuallyhear whatyou say. Expand on the idea a bit when you offer it up. Dont be afraid to state the obvious either.

javabean Thu 07-Mar-13 10:40:28

Not petty at all, and I get the impression that this happens to a lot of people, particularly women. I've actually had a bit of training on this lately, and here are some things suggested to me:

Are your meetings minuted properly? If they aren't, can you suggest that they are, to attribute ideas correctly?

Email follow-ups, expanding on your ideas if appropriate and take the lead in implementing stuff if it's part of your role (or even if not, if it'll get you recognised).

In meetings, be clear about what you're saying. No saying "I was wondering if maybe we could do X, if it's not too much hassle to sort out", but instead say "We need to implement X as soon as possible, how do we go about doing it?".

Be clearer in reviews which ideas were yours - "I proposed Y which was implemented and subsequently saved the company £Z".

If someone restates your idea in a meeting, respond with something positive like "I'm glad you agree with me John, that is exactly what I was saying earlier in the meeting"

GrendelsMum Thu 07-Mar-13 19:55:41

I attended a training session recently, in which this point was raised.

Squiddle and JavaBean's points was brought up as being an important ones - your body language and phrasing in the meeting needs to convey that you are now making a point which you expect to be listened to and acknowledged.

The trainer gave the example of a very capable and senior woman who would begin every point she made by saying, "I don't know if it's worth me mentioning this but..." - absolutely signalling that it wasn't worth listening to.

As JavaBean says, that could be rephrased in a much more positive, stronger way.

pestkontrol Thu 07-Mar-13 22:02:39

This is all really useful - thank you. I think my body language and generally self-deprecating manner aren't helping - I'm so keen on being non-threatening and fun that I probably get lost in the crush.

I'm definitely going to do the email thing, too - it's subtle but powerful

Thanks all

javabean Thu 07-Mar-13 22:59:17

I think about the people who are respected most at work. Often it's not because they're better at their job than I would be, but that they are confident, assertive, and prepared to push through what they believe in.

Good luck with it! It's hard to change ingrained habits, but I'm learning that it can be done. Feels really awkward the first few times you do something new, but gradually gets easier.

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