Confronting a Co-Worker who Stole Your Idea

Confronting a Co-Worker who Stole Your Idea If a co-worker stole your idea, should you confront him? After all, you can’t let people get ahead by copping others’ ideas. In the last post, YOU floated a new product idea with Emmett, your co-worker. He pooh-poohed it which discouraged you from presenting it to your mutual boss, Len. At the next staff meeting, Len praises Emmett for the same idea and assigns Emmett to work on developing it. You make it to your cubicle before you explode to your office neighbor, Brenda. You: The gall of the guy! That was my idea! Brenda: (smiling) Emmett? You: How did you know? Brenda: Welcome to the club. You: Huh? Brenda: The Burned-by-Emmett Club. We’re all members. You: What did you do? Brenda: (shrugs) What can you do? But in your cubicle, you can’t settle down. The gall of the guy! I can’t believe it! And even: what a group of cowards—no wonder Emmett gets away with it. The more you think about it, the madder you get. No way. No way! You jump up and head to Emmett’s cubicle. Confronting Emmett who stole your idea You: I’ve got a bone to pick with…

A Co-worker Steals Your Idea

It happens. Doesn’t matter the industry sector, company, or complexity of work. But what do you do if a co-worker steals your idea? Let’s follow this scenario. Emmett, despite his name, seems like an okay guy. He showed you the ropes when you started three months ago. The other guys seem good too, but more often than not, Emmett picks you up for lunch. You think you’re getting the hang of the job and even have an idea you want to pitch to your boss (Len). But you want to bounce it off Emmett first to see if it’s likely to fly. You: Hey, can I pick your brain? Emmett: Sure, what’s up? You: I want to pitch a new product to Len but I wanted to run it by you first. [You explain your Great Idea] Emmett: Yeah, interesting. But I don’t know if Len will go for it. You: Why not? Emmett: (shrugs) It’s not really our market. You: But that’s just the point—it will expand the appeal of the product. Emmett: Yeah, but it would have to be a whole different marketing approach. You: But wouldn’t it be worth it? Emmett: (shakes his head) I dunno—Len’s been…

Fake It Until You Make It: Benefiting from Being In

Fake It Until You Make It: Benefiting from Being In So you’re in the in-group. You’re invited to the TGIFs and the bull session isn’t complete without you. Congratulations. However, a seat at the table is not enough. If all you do is laugh at their jokes and nod vigorously, you’ll gradually but surely slip out of the in-group. To stay in, you need a presence. How? This post will discuss what you need and how you should fake it until you feel confident. Good interventions When first included, you may not know the topic or perspective needed. Do some homework. Zero in on where to make an effective intervention. Being for or against is not usually enough. Make substantive points. Fit them in as appropriate but don’t cram. Even one effective intervention will add credibility. Don’t talk off the top of your head. Prepare to impress. Make the point quickly Often people have good points but don’t say them effectively and quickly. They give the impression of thinking out loud. Don’t assume you can. You’re untested and the group won’t sit through your musings. Practice the effective and quick words which will make your good point. If you pique…

Is It Worth Being In the Gang?

Is It Worth Being In the Gang? It’s a lot of work to manage your position in the group. And sometimes sacrifice. So do you even want to be in the gang? The answer is usually yes Generally speaking, the in-crowd gets the most perks, the best assignments, the most forgiveness for screw-ups. There are more chances to strut your stuff and line up the next promotion. So, lots of good career reasons why it’s better to be in. But that isn’t always true. When you don’t want to be in the gang Peer led in-groups Sometimes in-groups form which are not boss-led. They may be all the cool guys or at least those who think they are. They’re often more social than work-oriented. Join the group because it’s fun or exciting but not for your career. Groups opposed to the company goals This kind of group does exist. Members don’t buy the company’s direction, don’t trust management, and believe they could run things better. All of which may be true, but they often enjoy scepticism more than rectifying. Eventually, you’ll tire of cynicism which goes nowhere. You don’t need to be Pollyanna, but neither is it helpful to run…

Getting into the In-group Clique

Getting into the In-group Clique Okay, you’ve decided that you want into the in-group clique. How? Working hard? Taking one for the team? If the world were fair, that would do it. But plenty of hard-working, dedicated, and decent guys are thanked for their contribution but never invited in. Hard work is a given. In-groupedness seems something else. First, don’t make it obvious Don’t look desperate to get in. Remember the cartoon with a big bulldog and a snappy, friendly puppy jumping around to get his attention? Didn’t work then and it won’t work for you. Due to human perverseness, wanting something nakedly makes you needy and not in-group material. Don’t talk about wanting in, or hang around the in-group hopefully, etc. Be cool while working what I outline below. Upping the chances of getting into the clique These may sound phony, artificial, and even beneath you. They are. Problem is, they also work. Dress like them Not the flashy ties your boss wears, but you really should dress for the position you want. What’s the in-crowd wearing? If they’re a jeans and Ts crowd, great. But if they’re business casual or even suits, and you do jeans, it’ll be…