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How to handle a boss who always steals your thunder

Munira Rangwala
20th Dec 2016
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College professors across universities make it a point to caution students about the big, bad world that awaits them once they graduate. Well, they aren't entirely wrong. There is nothing as satisfying as working hard and earning money. However, the one thing that can mar that feeling of contentment is when someone (read boss) steals your thunder for the work you've done.

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In an open and transparent work culture, the chances of your superiors taking credit for your job are relatively low. However, according to Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, “Power grabs can happen in any corporate environment because the system is simply set up for competition.” If you find yourself in a similar situation, try these possible remedies.

Talk straight from your heart

Don't allow the negativity to eat you up bit by bit as it will not only take a toll on you professionally, but it will also start to affect your personal life unknowingly. Tell your boss that you need to speak with them and ease them into what is bothering you. It is imperative to start and end the conversation on a positive note. Have a heart-to-heart with them while keeping accusations at bay. It is best to adopt a neutral and friendly tone.

Keep proof of the work you've done

Even after you've conveyed to your boss that you don't appreciate that they take credit for the long hours you've put in and the problem still persists, document your work. Begin to put every small task you've accomplished on mail. If there are records of the work you've done, you'll find it easier to convince superiors that it was you behind that signed deal and not your boss.

Involve your boss

The best way to make your boss feel guilty about taking credit for your work is to make them see how hard you're working to get the project accomplished efficiently and on time. Once your boss is more involved with the day-to-day aspects of your project, he will see firsthand the long hours you put in and the weekends you surpass, and might start to feel sorry for stealing your thunder.

Stop confiding

Are you in the habit of running to your boss every time you come up with an idea on how to close a difficult deal? If that's the case, you need to stop now. Begin to pitch your ideas in front of the rest of your teammates so everyone knows whose idea it is. Start to mark your team mates in internal emails, too. This way your boss will realise that other members are in the loop, and he will think twice before stealing credit for your work.

Ask for a change of superiors

If you've tried everything and your boss refuses to give up his mean and malicious ways, get a new boss. No one likes to work with a tyrant, and changing bosses is better than changing companies. If push comes to shove, confide in your boss's boss about the problem you're facing and request for a change of superiors.

Stand up for yourself if you feel your boss is stealing your thunder and report them because it is important that you get credit for the work you've done. If you continue to let your boss run the show, he will grow brave and start taking credit for the work of other employees, too. It is best to nip the issue in the bud before it becomes a stumbling block for you as well as others.

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