Building Trust People Skills

Taking credit for other’s work

One of the easiest ways to make someone resent us is taking credit for their work.

While this is obvious and most people will avoid taking credit for work they didn’t do, there are some situations that we might not be so sensitive about, until someone else takes credit for something we did.

Here are some scenarios I came across. I’m sure there are countless others.

Borrowing ideas

If someone shares an idea with us, they should get some credit for it, even if we end up changing it completely.

A simple “Mary had an interesting idea that I built this upon” goes a long way towards establishing trust with our coworkers.

Using other’s results

It is quite hard to objectively evaluate the effort made by others.

We might think we did more work than our collaborators, simply because we only see the result of their work, and not their struggles to get there.

This is especially true for debugging or research efforts, which might take a lot of time, but in certain cases have little or no results.

If we want them to work with us again, they need credit and appreciation for their efforts, no matter if and how we use their findings.

Uninformed praise

Sometimes a manager or a customer might give us praise for something they think we did on our own. We might be happy to receive the compliment and feel discomfort about telling them it is actually a team effort, but not correcting such assumptions will severely damage the relationship with our colleagues.

Conclusions and recommendations

My suggestion would be to give thanks and credit to anyone who works with us.

Adding a little extra praise won’t hurt: we never truly know how much effort they’ve made.

In turn, they will trust us more and it is likely that they will choose to work with us again in the future, or be willing to point us towards someone in the company who can help in times of trouble.

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