Smart collaboration holds the key to success in the workplace

Instead of taking credit for other people’s ideas, employees should collaborate with their colleagues to achieve success as a group.
By: | April 5, 2023

Employees who take credit for other people’s ideas are demonstrating a lack of trustworthiness and competence and are not giving colleagues the respect they deserve, according to Heidi Gardner, a Professional Leadership Advisor and Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School.

Speaking with CNBC Make It, Gardner said, “Maybe they are unable to actually see how much value the people around them being to their own success. And that inability to appreciate other people’s contributions is a huge red flag for me.”

Examples of taking credit for the work of others include accepting praise for a group project instead of sharing it with teammates, or presenting an idea that was brainstormed with a colleague without specifically mentioning their contributions.

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Encouraging employees to be transparent when an idea does belong to themselves to avoid coming across as untrustworthy, Gardner also highlighted the importance of “smart collaboration”, or what she describes as colleagues working together on a task that could have been done alone.

If everyone is transparent about who contributes to the project, increased trust, productivity, and quality of work can be achieved, she added.