Sunday, December 15, 2019

Your Colleague Is Taking All The Credit, What To Do?

The presentation just finished and, your colleague is taking all the credit for the same.not to mention that, you have spent the last few weeks preparing a presentation, and this has been entirely your brainchild.

It could be that they were hosting the presentation, or maybe they just decided not to mention you at all. Watching someone else take your well-deserved praise is not going to be easy. It was your hard work and effort, and maybe just a small note of thanks or accreditation would have made you happy.

So how do you react in such situations, do you immediately retort and backlash or do nothing at all?

Calm down

Don’t just burst out in front of everyone and be rude towards your colleague. Take a couple of deep breaths. You might not be liking it, but if this is the first time such a situation has come up, then thinking before taking any action is a safe bet. Think about it for a day or two before deciding on the next actionable.

Assess the situation

Think about what exactly happened during the incident. Was your report accidentally submitted to your boss/ manager and they assumed your colleague had done the job. If yes, did your colleague try to speak up and let your manager know that it wasn’t them who had prepared the report? It is possible that when they tried to speak up, your boss kept interrupting and didn’t give them a chance to explain. In such a scenario, the fault is clearly not your colleagues.

However, if your colleague simply stood or sat there taking all the credit for your effort without even trying to explain things — it was totally intentional. Also, some individuals do tend to represent the team and talk as ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ — was such an effort made? If not, then your colleague is trying to simply get attention and praises, without being concerned about how you feel, especially if you put in all the hard work.


If you have assessed the situation and feel that your colleague is simply using malpractices or cunningly taking your share of due praises, confront them. Ideally, this should be done alone. You can talk to them in the cafeteria or even ask them to step outside for a minute. Explain to them that this was only one of the many projects coming up. And knowing their behaviour, you would not share your report with them. If they take this as a warning, then it is likely that such behavior won’t be repeated.

It is possible that your colleague outrightly denies your inputs or refuses to share the credit with you the next time too. Since you have already confronted them once, you are not sure what to do. The next step would be to confide in a colleague who knows how much effort you have put in. Then, approach the HR or your manager to discuss this issue. Explain to them that all your hard work is being accredited to a colleague, who simply refuses to alter their behaviour. Make sure that you have proof of your reports, research, etc. A colleague to support your clause would also be handy. The HR or your manager would handle the situation from here.

Do remember to be proactive and not repeat the mistake. The next time, you should not hand over your reports but if you have to, at least mark a senior or your boss in the mail, so they know who put in the effort and you can stop your colleague from taking all the credit.

Jappreet Sethi

Jappreet Sethi
I am a HR & Business Strategy professional with experience of leading HR & People Consulting practice of multinational professional services firms. I specialize in designing & delivering dynamic learning experiences in service of human development. I have over a decade of experience across various facets of HR and Process Consulting. I am a Six-Sigma Black Belt along with a certification in using Lean for process improvement. I am also a certified user for psychometric instruments like MBTI, FIRO, CPI & Saville Consulting Suite; I am among the few in India who specialize in using Art and Drama for Leadership Development and Personal Counseling. I have been rated twice as one of the Top 100 employee engagement experts in the world by a New York Times bestselling author.

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