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How to Prevent Credit Snatching October 18, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
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If you’ve been a victim of a genuine case of credit snatching, then you know how evil it can get.  How else can you describe an act where someone takes your idea and claims it as their own?  To make matters worse, THEY get the kudos for it and not you.  So how do you protect yourself?

Preventing credit snatching
Still the best way to avoid getting your ideas stolen is to prevent it.  That way, you don’t leave yourself open for an attack, a would-be thief would be discouraged from stealing from you and you’ll free yourself of the burden of proof.  No one gets hurt and you don’t need to lose a few nights’ sleep seething and thinking evil thoughts.

To prevent someone from stealing your credit, do the following:

Document your best ideas.
Write down your ideas and put a date next to them.  If you have supporting documents, printouts, drawings, illustrations, newspaper clippings, photographs and other stuff that have inspired you to come up with that idea, then keep those in handy.  This will help you prove that the idea is really yours because only you can explain how it was created.

Leave evidence behind.
If your boss or an officemate frequently steals your idea (or you’re afraid they would), leave a paper trail behind.  Don’t rely on verbal communication to share your ideas, especially the best, most amazing ones.  You’ll leave them vulnerable to credit snatching.

Send an e-mail or a written memo instead.  Make a copy of the original and keep that.  If you like, you could even have the recipient sign the copy as acknowledgement that they have received the original.  If your boss has a secretary, for example, have him/her sign the copy of the memo so the idea can be traced back to you later.

Have someone stand as a witness for you.
When you send an e-mail, send a copy to a colleague or another superior who is involved in the matter.  You could also reveal your idea in a very public way, such as during a meeting, a group discussion or even at lunch, when there is a group of people present to vouch for you.

Safeguard your ideas.
Whether you keep your ideas as electronic files or as doodles in your paper organizer, be sure to prevent people from snooping around.  Keep your files protected against potential credit snatchers and don’t just throw off great ideas like they were pieces of candy.  That is, if you want to be acknowledged as their main source.  If you don’t or can’t trust your boss or officemates, then practice a healthy paranoia.  In most cases, it’s better safe than sorry.



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