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Coping with workplace betrayal

Qualification, capability and hard work are bedrocks on which a person can launch himself towards success. Many striving to rise high fail to notice the hawks sitting in some cushy corner, watching intensely and ever ready to pounce over the fruits of their hard work. While these people gain appreciation and gather awards for the work they did not contribute a wee bit for, the marooned grope, sulk in despair and anger.

Not only your work, but also your ideas are at the risk of being stolen. Such workplace betrayals are common and if not handled properly, they can result in stress, anxiety and conflict with coworkers. Here are some tips that will help you to survive in such an environment.

Evaluate the situation

 look incredibly foolish

It is important, rather imperative, that before you barge through colleagues and make yourself look incredibly foolish, take an objective view of the situation. Try to figure out all that happened was accidental or the concerned person intentionally stole your idea and took the credit for it. It might happen that your idea was not unique and someone came up with something similar to what you were working at. This will help you avoid the tussle.

Speak up

 Business people on meeting

If you are sure that someone around you stole your idea, you need to speak up. Otherwise, you will keep this option open for the person/colleague to do it yet again. Be it your colleague immediate superior or boss; stand up for what is rightfully your intellectual property. You must talk to him and try to reason out. Perhaps he missed out your name while submitting the project completion report to the seniors. Also, be sure to keep ample evidences to support your argument, if need be.

Be professional


When working in a highly professional, cultured environment, it is but imperative that you adopt a professional approach. Shed all animal instincts of rage and an urge to drag the culprit out from his collar. Such actions will do more harm than good. It is highly likely that you won’t get support from any of your colleague in this situation and this unprofessional behavior may cost you job.

Be polite and follow proper channels to redress your grievances. Contact the HR representative and if that does not help, seek an appointment with the higher authorities. Put forward your case in a non-aggressive but firm way.

Be keen to negotiate

 At meeting

Negotiation involves the willingness to accept alternatives than what you might have sought. Do not be stringent, adamant and try to solve things in your own different manner. Unless the stakes are too high, it makes no sense in taking the battle too far. Do not forget to ensure that the other party does not dupe you or dodge the assurances given to you.

Make an honorable exit

 Bad news. Rear view of young businessman consoling his depressed

If no solution seems to come your way and no one is willing to help you out, it is time to move on. Make an honorable exist from the controversy if your efforts seem futile. Your dignified exist will not go unnoticed. It is highly likely that you earn respect, appreciation and sympathy from bosses and colleagues.

Workplace betrayals are all but common. What makes the difference however is the approach adopted to deal with it. Remaining formal yet aggressive and adopting a professional approach is the right way.


Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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