How do I shame my boss into being honest?

Dear Aunty B,

I have a boss who deliberately comes in, picks my brain and then presents my ideas as hers. She is not embarrassed or ashamed. It’s like she thinks it is her right.

I have pointed out in meetings that an idea is mine and she will then agree it is. And after I kicked up a fuss in my last performance review I am now on a good salary and she did say really nice things about me.

But the other day she did it again! And when I picked her up on it she just went straight on talking! It really annoys me. How do I shame her into admitting the truth? I have more ideas than her.

Give credit where it’s due,

Dear Credit,

It sounds to me like your boss is very focused on her task, which is to drive the organisation forward. Of course in a perfect world, your boss would acknowledge where ideas come from. But guess what? Your boss isn’t perfect. She has a flaw. Incredible isn’t it that bosses are human too?

Some driven people are so focused on the ideas and what the ideas can mean for the future of the business that the source of the ideas is simply not important. Half the time they forget it was not themselves that came up with the great idea. Besides, lots of ideas get generated over time and can’t actually be traced back to one light bulb moment.

The question is this: can you overcome your resentment? You seem to be a person that needs a lot of stroking. You are very focused on your own performance rather than being able to see your contribution as great for the company.

In this case you probably need to either go and run your own business or put your hand up for your bosses job and make sure you don’t make the same mistake.

Of course, the third option is this: you change your thinking. You try and see the company the way your boss does – as something that everyone is driving forward.

Good luck!
Your Aunty B

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