Sharing Is Caring—And Better for Your Career

The academic year has come to an end. While I enjoy being in the classroom, I’m looking forward to summer. It’s always nice to take a few months off to rest and recharge.

In one of my final MBA classes, we were discussing managerial ethics. One of the mini cases focused on whether it’s okay to take credit for someone else’s work. The students were united in their opinion that it’s not okay. One of the students shared an article she found while preparing for the case discussion. It listed five habits that bosses hate. “Caring only about getting credit” was number five on the list. She made the point that it’s not only unethical to take credit you haven’t earned, it’s not a smart career management tactic either. I agree.

Tweet 137 in my career success book, Success Tweets, says, “Do your job. Give credit to others for doing theirs. Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.”

Sharing credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions of others is important. It’s very rare to accomplish a goal or complete a project with no help from others. Take the time, and expend the energy, to thank, reward, and recognize the people who help you succeed. Make sure you’re specific, both when thanking a peer and when discussing his or her contributions with the boss.

Spreading the Wealth Makes Everyone Better

When you do this, you’ll be helping the people around you become better. Every person has talents, skills, and knowledge. Sharing the credit helps people harness their best abilities—to grow and develop. And personal growth and development benefits everybody. Compliment, recognize, praise, and notice contributions people make. You don’t have to be a manager to help create a positive, motivating environment.

Giving credit where it is due also increases your credibility in the eyes of others. When you openly acknowledge the contribution of others, you show that you are secure in your skills and abilities; that you’re not someone who is so insecure that you must represent the work of others as your own. You also demonstrate your ability and willingness to collaborate effectively, and model ethical behavior by not taking recognition that rightfully belongs to someone else.

To sum up, savvy and ethical people give credit where credit is due.

Doing so will help you build the effective work relationships that are so vitally important to your career success.

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