Boss Stole My Idea, Should I Confront Her?

Dear Tamara:

My boss keeps taking credit for all of my ideas and passing them off as her own! She gets all of the accolades and pats on the back, and never acknowledges me or other members of the team. How can I confront her about this without jeopardizing my job or ending up on her hit list?

Disgruntled Employee


Dear Disgruntled:

Though it’s not good for work morale for the boss to take full credit for a successful project without giving proper credit to the team and individual team members who have made significant contributions, the boss is usually the person credited with team successes and for assembling and managing a successful team.  Bosses are also the ones credited with team failures and the one who takes the brunt of responsibility when things go wrong.

It is probably not wise to openly confront your boss and/or accuse her of stealing your ideas. This approach has the potential of sending her on the defensive and you may never get anything resolved. At the same time, I believe an employee should be comfortable contributing and presenting ideas. If your individual success in your workplace is directly tied to your contribution, I encourage you to make sure your contributions have a public face. What does this mean? It means that you make sure your ideas are presented in a public setting. Present your ideas/proposals during staff meetings in front of others. Most likely there are meeting minutes and some record of who says what.

You should also begin to leave a paper trail of your ideas and contributions. Communicate your ideas via email keep copies for your records. Keep track of your contributions and be sure to acknowledge them during your next review!



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