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Office bandits stealing your best ideas?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

There’s a common type of workplace theft, and it has nothing to do with missing office supplies, reports a recent OfficeTeam survey.

Nearly one in three employees interviewed said that a co-worker has taken credit for their idea. Workers were asked, “Has a co-worker ever taken credit for your idea?” Their responses:

  • Yes:  29%
  • No:  68%
  • Don’t know/no answer:  3%

Workers also were asked, “What did you do in response?” Their responses (multiple responses allowed):

  • Speak up to let others know it was your idea:  26%
  • Tell your manager: 13%
  • Confront the person who stole your idea: 13%
  • Nothing: 51%

“Being proactive in sharing your vision with your manager and colleagues early on can help ensure others know the concept originated with you,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.

Other tips for getting the credit you deserve:

1. Create advocates—the right advocates—for your idea. Charmaine McClarie, founder and president of McClarie Group, a leadership development and communications-consulting firm, tells, “Too often, when we think of a great idea, we turn to the person closest to us and share it. Instead, get strategic.”

2. Reframe your views. “Congratulate the other person for doing such a great job of communicating the idea and tell your boss what a great job this person did of helping bring your idea to life,” says Richard Gallagher, author of How to Tell Anyone Anything: Breakthrough Techniques for Handling Difficult Conversations at Work.

3. Think beyond the idea. “Over a century ago, someone had the idea of turning a horse carriage into an automobile,” Gallagher tells “Do you remember who that person was? The people we really remember are the ones who took ideas and built on them.”

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