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My Colleague is Taking All the Credit: A Mini Case Study - Part 2

Read Part 1 of the mini case study.

Here are some ideas on what Elena might do – tactfully and diplomatically – to ensure she gets credit for the work on this project.

First, Elena should talk address Jacklyn immediately but rather calm down and wait until later in the day or the next day. The goal is not to get angry and go on the attack. But rather to have a good conversation with Jacklyn to correct the situation.

Second, Elena should arrange to talk with Jacklyn privately – possibly during lunch or over coffee. During this conversation Elena should ask why Jacklyn did not discuss the work that Elena has done on the project and rather talked about the project as if Jacklyn had done all the work. A way to ask might be, “Jacklyn, I noticed that during the presentation you said ‘I’ rather than ‘we.’ Additionally, when you provided information about the problems that were solved, you talked about the work you did and provided no credit for the efforts I put into resolving the issues. Why did you present the project as if you have done all the work?”

If Jacklyn acknowledges that she should have provided credit to Elena, than Elena should work with Jacklyn to determine how to fix the situation. Elena wants to be sure she gets credit for the work that was done. This may be through a follow up email recapping the meeting and highlighting the work that the two of them did. This would be a great way to correct the situation without asking Jacklyn to go back and say she took credit she never should have taken.

If, however, Jacklyn refuses to acknowledge that she took credit where it wasn’t due, Elena may want to fix the situation herself. With a strategic project that is highly visible, it would not be wise for Elena to assume the situation will fix itself; she wants to be sure she gets credit for her efforts. Elena may want to:

  • Be sure to take opportunities to speak about the project at the next leadership status meeting, or via a general stakeholder meeting
  • Send an email to recap the presentation, providing details around the work that was completed highlighting the efforts of the team.