What to Do When Your Co-Worker Steals Your Idea

The Cheat Sheet

Feb 9, 2019

You’ve been working all month on a new idea for your company, and you can’t wait to present it during the next team meeting. Work has been going well, and you’re sure this new project is going to help you earn your next big promotion. The only thing that has been distracting you is one of your co-workers is constantly coming over to your desk to ask you what you’re working on. You don’t think anything of it, so you tell her, and then return to your work. The day of the meeting, you’re itching to share your new idea; however, you’re cut off by your co-worker, who proceeds to tell the boss about her new idea. It’s the exact same one you were telling her about a few days ago. What should you do?

Maresa Friedman, founder of The Executive Cat Herder, told The Cheat Sheet it’s necessary to immediately address the problem. “You have determine when, where, and how you first presented the idea and where it’s documented. It’s best to call this type of behavior out in a casual way. For example, say, ‘Hey, I mentioned that at the last meeting — thanks for revisiting it. Maybe we can give it wings,’” Friedman suggested.

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