Sharing Credit Builds Better Teams

Have you ever worked with someone who seems obsessed with taking credit for everything? I have, and it… is… awful. It is unmotivating, frustrating, and exhausting to be around someone who is constantly trying to remind you how great they are. All you ever hear from a person like that is some version of “look at me,” “look what I did,” “I created that,” and “I’m fantastic, don’t you agree?”

It is ironic because the more someone grabs for credit, the less people want to give that person credit. The harder you seek it, the less people want to give it to you.

The best people to work with are the ones who not only do good work and add value, but also never take credit for anything. The best people to work with are the ones who are really productive, and want to share credit with others, with the entire team, and deflect attention off themselves.

So, my advice today is three-fold:

First, if you are really productive and valuable, and humble about it, people will be more willing to give you credit for that good work. And the more you share credit with others, the more they will want to share credit with you. So, do your best to be that person who deflects the spotlight. Your colleagues will love you for it.

And second, if you like working with people like that, then make sure to reward the good behavior and don’t allow all the spotlight to end up on the people who are constantly seeking it out. Look for those awesome colleagues in your organization who share credit with others, and give them some positive reinforcement. If we reward the bad behavior, and don’t reward the good behavior, guess which one we will see more of? Exactly.

And finally, if you are the leader of the group or the organization, make sure to create a culture where the people constantly seeking the spotlight don’t suck up all the oxygen in the room. Create a culture that rewards great performance AND great, collaborative, humble behavior. In other words, don’t create a culture that rewards the narcissists.

Be wary of the person who wants credit for everything… make sure that person isn’t you… and throw some sunshine at the collaborative and humble colleagues. Every organization needs more of those of kinds of people.

Have a great day.

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Corporation’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.