Does your colleague take credit for your work? Not a good sign of what’s to come in your office future unless you handle the situation professionally and expeditiously. Here are a few mannerly suggestions for dealing with a coworker who takes credit for your work:
First of all, ask yourself if his or her acceptance of undue credit could be unintentional or has it become an ongoing situation. If you are overzealous with your accusation you run the risk of being viewed as petty and insecure. However, if it has become crystal clear that your colleague is taking credit for your work, or a team effort, a conversation with the culprit is in order as he or she is breaching an office etiquette rule.
Take the person aside, never in the presence of others, and calmly say “John, I have a concern I would like to discuss with you. I have noticed in the past several board meetings you have taken complete credit for a project that I initiated and our entire team has put effort and energy into over the past several months. I didn’t want to embarrass you in front of your client, but I do request the courtesy of you setting the record straight this afternoon with Mr. Davis.”
Be clear about your expectations and give a specific timeline to resolve the issue. If he or she doesn’t handle the situation in a timely manner, send a follow up email, putting your concern in writing. It’s always good to have a paper trail to confirm previous discussions. If the problem doesn’t get taken care of in a reasonable period of time, take the situation to your immediate supervisor and ask for his or her advice. It’s always best to give a peer the benefit of the doubt but when a colleague consistently takes credit for your work, there comes a time to take responsibility for your own professional future. Good luck!