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When your boss steals your idea

The other day, a friend of my was complaining that she was frustrated. She pitched an idea for a marketing tactic and her boss loved it. But he then, turned around and pitched it to his boss, taking full credit.

Now, there was tension at work and she didn't know how to speak up without jeopardizing her job altogether. I've heard this complaint before. If my friend says nothing the tension can build -- and spill over into her personal life. We all know our relationship with our boss can affect our work life balance.

Peter Handal 1 Peter Handal, the CEO and chairman of Dale Carnegie Training, offers advice on how to address the issue in a non-accusatory way and hopefully in the end, gain the credit that  deserve.


1)      In a group meeting situation, come up with a new idea to contribute that no one has heard before. Whether it expands upon your original idea or is entirely different, it will catch the positive attention of meeting attendees.


2)      If you choose to approach your boss about the issue, speak objectively and do not accuse him/her or complain.


3)      Tell your boss how you feel and develop a conversation with him/her that creates an understanding of how you should be recognized for your work.


4)      If you think that your boss will react poorly to being approached, it may be best to leave the issue at rest, unless it becomes a greater problem.


5) If your boss takes a significant idea of yours and claims it as his/her own, you may want to involve others in the organization, possibly at higher levels, such as human resources, to help resolve the situation.


Readers, has this ever happened to you? How did you resolve it and did it permanently affect your relationship with your boss?