Exactly What To Say If Someone Takes Credit For Your Work

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

Exactly What to Say If Someone Takes Credit for Your Work

Maybe your co-worker didn’t mean to pawn off your work as their own — or maybe they did — either way, here’s how to correct the record.
Credit: La1n/Shutterstock/Thrive
Credit: La1n/Shutterstock/Thrive

When you work hard on a project that you’re proud of, it’s uniquely frustrating (and stressful) when someone else on your team gets the credit. That’s especially true for women, whose accomplishments are all too often overshadowed (or absorbed) by those of their male colleagues.

Research out of the University of Delaware found that men are given more credit than women for saying exactly the same thing. There’s even a term for it: “hepeating.”  And when women have to share credit, they’re usually short-shrifted: A Harvard study in 2017 looked at 500 tenure decisions over a period of four decades and discovered that women who co-authored most of their academic papers got tenure 50 percent less of the time than their male counterparts.

Amy Gallo, a contributing editor at the Harvard Business Review and author of HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, urges us to challenge credit-stealers, especially when bias is involved. “Given that research shows women are less likely to get credit, when a man gets credit for the work a woman has done, it’s extremely important to speak up,” she tells Thrive Global.

While it may feel awkward to call someone out for pawning your ideas off as their own, Gallo offers solutions to gracefully set the record straight — compassionately and directly — without damaging your relationships.

Steady your emotions

Whether it was intentional or accidental. when someone takes off with your idea, it can feel blood-boiling. But simmer down a bit before you approach your offender. “We don’t make rational choices when we’re angry or upset,” Gallo points out. Once you regain your cool, concretely outline what you contributed and what was miscast as someone else’s accomplishment. You need to be clear in your own mind about what exactly you’re upset about before you can have a productive conversation.

Create an open dialogue

Don’t be accusatory. It’s possible someone genuinely isn’t aware that the concept they’ve cast as their own originated with you. A ton of ideas are typically exchanged throughout the day in meeting after meeting, and it’s easy to jumble things up in your head. You might even broach the subject with your colleague by prefacing it with, “We ideate so much, so I know you may have forgotten, but I actually originated that idea you presented in today’s meeting.”

If your boss is a chronic thief, focus the discussion on your concerns around how not being able to sign your name to the bulk of your output will thwart your career growth, rather than assigning them malicious intent. “It’s important to remember that it is your job to make your boss look good, which is mutually beneficial,” Gallo says. Sometimes it’ll behoove you to let small swipes go.

Find an ally to rally for you

Seek someone out, preferably in a position of power, to speak up on your behalf, Gallo recommends. Having a colleague highlight your work will help you reinforce an ethos of giving proper credit, which helps promote an honest and direct workplace.

When all else fails

Sometimes a head-on collision (looping in HR) is necessary when you’re getting repeatedly ripped off. But before you escalate, make sure you have a paper trail that supports your assertion that you’re the real architect of the work at hand.

To protect yourself from credit-stealers, Gallo recommends creating visibility of your efforts along the way. “Really document what role you’re playing by sending weekly updates to your boss outlining exactly what you’re doing,” she says. That’ll make it much harder for someone to take credit for your work.

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Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Lie About Taking Mental Health Days

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

WELL-BEING//

Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Lie About Taking Mental Health Days

A clinical psychologist says covering them up can actually be worse for your well-being.
Alexander Kpke / EyeEm/ Getty Images
Alexander Kpke / EyeEm/ Getty Images

One morning in September, Sarah Billington told her manager she had to go home for the day because she was feeling sick. But she didn’t have an upset stomach like she let on — she was on the verge of a breakdown.

The author and editor had been struggling with anxiety well before that moment, but according to her candid op-ed in the Huffington Post, she knew in that instant that powering through was no longer a viable option. So she played the sick card and took the day off. “I went home, removing myself from the situation that was making me spiral with anxiety and giving myself a chance to regroup, to curl up in bed for an afternoon and overcome the panic and negative self-talk.” Billington writes.

Billington opens up in her story about facing an unsettling matter in her personal life while juggling a slew of stressful tasks at a previous job. She’d had conversations with her then-manager about taking time to prioritize her mental health, but when it came time to request time off, her boss was less than understanding. “She found it inappropriate and unacceptable,” Billington writes. “[I ended up] feeling ashamed and anxious for having requested the time off.” Still reeling from that past experience, she lied. “I don’t want management thinking I’m incapable of doing my job. On the contrary, I’m actually very good at it,” Billington notes. And yet: “There is an unjustified stigma around mental illness in the workplace and in general,” she writes. “When someone takes a sick day because of a virus or the common cold, their absence isn’t considered evidence that they can’t handle their work.”

No one should make you feel guilty about prioritizing your well-being, and if we don’t speak up about mental health days, they’ll continue to be shrouded in shame. Taking a mental health day is important if you’re struggling,  Thomas Plante, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Stanford University School of Medicine, tells Thrive Global. And by covering it up, you could also be hindering your well-being in the long run by turning to a short-term fix instead of dealing with an underlying issue head-on, Plante points out.

How to ask your boss for a mental health day:

Plante suggests being as specific as possible when you ask. We often refer to our mental struggles in vague terms because we don’t want to disclose too much in the workplace, but perhaps if your boss knew you were using the afternoon to recharge in the outdoors or go to a therapy appointment, she could become less skeptical of what the day actually means to you. Also, work on phrasing the request to let your manager know that you’re taking this time so you can come back mentally stronger, refreshed, and in a better place to be productive at work.

That being said, “Mental health days can help in the short term, but they might not help in the long term if there’s a bigger problem to be addressed,” Plante says. “A day off can help, but it also might be indicative of a larger issue,” he says, and if you suspect that’s the case, it’s better to consult with a therapist.

If you still feel the need to lie, ask yourself these questions:

If you’ve tried the above tactics but your boss is not accepting, or you still feel the need to lie about taking a mental health day, you may need to take a broader look at your workplace conditions and if they’re healthy for you, Plante suggests. When you’re already feeling overwhelmed, ignoring a deeper workplace issue can often add fuel to the fire, so it’s important to assess the nature of your office environment.

1. Is your workplace civil?

“Your work environment affects your bottom line. It affects your productivity, your well-being, and your overall health,” says Plante. If your office feels like a toxic environment, consider switching teams, raising a particular problem to HR, or even going elsewhere, says Plante. “Civility is key when it comes to company culture,” he notes. (Here at Thrive, compassionate directness is a key cultural value.) “Everybody needs to be treated with respect, compassion, and reverence. If that’s not happening, that’s a problem.”

2. Can you have a conversation about your workload?

It’s one thing to feel like your plate is too full, but it’s another thing to stay quiet about it if you’re feeling overwhelmed. According to Plante, corrective feedback is important when it comes to your well-being, both from employer to employee, and visa versa. Just like you’d want your manager to be honest with you, it’s vital to openly communicate if you feel like you’re hitting a wall. “Creating a culture of care starts with the employees,” Plante points out. “Don’t ignore the power of corrective feedback.”

3. Do you need more than a mental health day?

Feeling like you need an occasional break is normal, but if you have to lie about what’s going on inside, you might need more than a day off, Plante says. According to a 2018 APA survey, taking time off helps workers recharge, but the mental benefits that come from taking a brief vacation tend to fade within a few days of returning to work. In fact, 42 percent of participants of the organization’s well-being survey admitted they usually “dread” returning to work after a break. If you’re struggling with intense stress and anxiety, seeking professional help will probably help you more than a mental health day here and there. Remember that there’s no shame in reaching out when you don’t have the answers yourself.

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Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

Give up the bad habits that rob your kids of mental strength.

by

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn’t mean he won’t cry when he’s sad or that he won’t fail sometimes. Mental strength doesn’t make you immune to hardship and it’s not about suppressing your emotions.In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks and it gives them the strength to keep going, even when they’re plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common–yet unhealthy–parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid who is equipped to tackle life’s toughest challenges.

1. Condoning a Victim Mentality

Striking out at the baseball game or failing a science test doesn’t make a child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are a part of life.

Refuse to attend your kids’ pity parties. Teach them that no matter how tough or unjust their circumstances, they can always take positive action.

2. Parenting Out of Guilt

Giving into guilty feelings teaches your child that guilt is intolerable. And kids who think guilt is horrible won’t be able to say no to someone who says, “Be a friend and let me copy your paper,” or, “If you loved me, you’d do this for me.”

Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes–and all good parents do–you’re not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions to get in the way of making wise decisions.

3. Making Their Kids the Center of the Universe

If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they’ll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren’t likely to get very far in life.

Teach your kids to focus on what they have to offer the world, rather than what they can gain from it.

4. Allowing Fear to Dictate Their Choices

Although keeping your kids inside a protective bubble will spare you a lot of anxiety–playing it too safe teaches your child that fear must be avoided at all times.

Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face those fears head-on and you’ll raise courageous kids who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.

5. Giving Their Kids Power Over Them

Letting kids dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner or where the family is going on vacation gives kids more power than they are developmentally ready to handle. Treating kids like an equal–or the boss–actually robs them of mental strength.

Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders, listening to things they don’t want to hear, and doing things they don’t want to do. Let your kids make simple choices while maintaining a clear family hierarchy.

6. Expecting Perfection

Expecting your kids to perform well is healthy. But expecting them to be perfect will backfire. Teach your kids that it’s OK to fail and it’s OK not to be great at everything they do.

Kids who strive to become the best version of themselves, rather than the best at everything they do, won’t make their self-worth dependent upon how they measure up to others.

7. Letting Their Kids Avoid Responsibility

Letting kids skip out on chores or avoid getting an after-school job can be tempting. Afer all, you likely want your kids to have a carefree childhood.

But, kids who perform age-appropriate duties aren’t overburdened. Instead, they’re gaining the mental strength they need to become responsible citizens.

8. Shielding Their Kids From Pain

Hurt feelings, sadness, and anxiety are part of life. And letting kids experience those painful feelings gives them opportunities to practice tolerating discomfort.

Provide your kids with the guidance and support they need to deal with pain so they can gain confidence in their ability to handle life’s inevitable hardships.

9. Feeling Responsible For Their Kids’ Emotions

Cheering your kids up when they’re sad and calming them down when they’re upset means you take responsibility for regulating their emotions. Kids need to gain emotional competence so they can learn to manage their own feelings.

Proactively teach your child healthy ways to cope with their emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. Preventing Their Kids From Making Mistakes

Correcting your kids’ math homework, double checking to make sure they’ve packed their lunch, and constantly reminding them to do their chores won’t do them any favors. Natural consequences can be some of life’s greatest teachers.

Let your kids mess up sometimes and show them how to learn from their mistakes so they can grow wiser and become stronger.

11. Confusing Discipline With Punishment

Punishment involves making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline, however, is about teaching them how to do better in the future.

Raising a child who fears “getting in trouble” isn’t the same as raising a child who wants to make good choices. Use consequences that help your kids develop the self-discipline they need to make better choices.

12. Taking Shortcuts to Avoid Discomfort

Although giving in to a whining child or doing your kids’ chores for them will make your life a little easier right now, those shortcuts instill unhealthy habits in your kids.

Role model delayed gratification and show your kids that you can resist tempting shortcuts. You’ll teach them that they’re strong enough to persevere and even when they want to give up.

13. Losing Sight of Their Values

Many parents aren’t instilling the values they hold dear in their children. Instead, they’re so wrapped up in the day-to-day chaos of life that they forget to look at the bigger picture.

Make sure your priorities accurately reflect the things you value most in life and you’ll give your children the strength to live a meaningful life.

Originally published at www.inc.com

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