Mike is terrific at giving credit to others. Even when he does the majority of the work, he gives credit for the success of the project to the others who helped.
He could easily take the credit for the project’s success. He deserves the credit more than anyone else.
Why then, is Mike always giving credit to others?
Doesn’t he want to get the credit to get promoted? He could be at the pinnacle of corporate success if he’d stop giving credit to others and let others know how good he is. Right?
Mike knows something most people don’t realize.
He learned long ago that giving credit to others does not mean his career would stall. It doesn’t mean others would get promoted ahead of him.
Instead, giving credit to others will make him a trusted leader for whom others will follow willingly. His subordinates (even though he doesn’t look at them as such) work harder because of his willingness to give them credit instead of taking it for himself.
Mike is a unique and heralded employee, leader and co-worker. He achieves success in everything he does because of his belief in and public acknowledgment of his team.
No Single Person Takes Credit
“It’s a dog eat dog world.”
You’ve heard that saying before and, unfortunately, it is true in most organizations. People who believe this are focused only on the results.
What do we teach our children? We teach them that winning doesn’t matter. It’s how they play the game.
Great organizations, with great leaders, embrace the importance of how the game is played, not just the results.
The leadership team makes sure all members of management and every employee plays by the rules and focus on what’s best for the organization.
Credit for a job well done goes to the team.
For example, I was sitting in a meeting with executive management of a company. During the discussion, one of the C-level members in the room, who easily could have taken credit, mentioned his team members by name and gave them credit instead.
Amazingly, this happened twice in the meeting; both times by the same person. Now that guy really knows what it means to lead!
Three Times when Giving Credit to Others is Ideal
It’s not hard to find opportunities for giving credit to others. You can find opportunities at home, church, work and everywhere else. Here are three specific times it will work well to give credit to others:
1. When in a meeting with management
How you talk about your team in front of your boss or with other members of management shows your true colors. If you have a big ego to feed, you’ll talk about how you led your team to accomplish the task or how you were instrumental to the timely completion of the project.
If you are more focused on others than yourself, you will always take the opportunities for giving credit to others and do just that.
Looking good to your boss is important for your career. That’s fine. Look good by making others look good too.
2. When talking with your team
A formal show of gratitude for someone in front of that person’s peers can provide more positive reinforcement than a monetary bonus.
Telling someone “thank you” in a one-on-one situation is super. It doesn’t even compare though to a sincere “thank you” in front of peers.
Saying thank you isn’t the same as giving credit though. You need to give credit.
Here are some phrases to use when giving credit to others:
We wouldn’t have finished without your help.
You were imperative to completing this project.
I could not have done as good of a job as you.
The next time you meet with your team, find a way to give member of your team credit for something great they did.
3. When writing formal appraisals
The formal appraisal process is mandatory in most companies today. While frequent one-on-one feedback is more important to the success of the individual, the formal appraisal or evaluation process can still be useful.
Big issues should be addressed verbally and when they happen. Coaching an employee on those issues should not wait for the formal process.
However, big praises should be provided in both contexts. The employee knows that upper management will read those formal evaluations. When your employee reads the positive comments in the evaluation, he or she will feel really good about it because they know it will be seen by those who matter.
Are You Good at Giving Credit to Others?
How often do you lump praise upon a co-worker, subordinate or your boss? Is it once a day? Once a month? Once a year?
There is one simple test to determine if you give credit often. You will be able to tell quickly whether you give credit, take credit or are ambivalent to who gets credit.
What is this simple test? Here it is. Answer the following true or false question:
Others want to work with me, will willingly put in extra effort when working with me and encourage others to work with me.
If you answered FALSE to that statement, you are not well-known for giving credit to others.
Giving credit, in more than just words, builds loyalty among employees. It also needs to be consistent. Giving credit to someone publicly one time is not enough. Neither is giving credit in front of senior management and then treating someone poorly behind closed doors.
Legitimately giving credit to others is an art. It’s sincere, consistent and deserved. It builds others up. It lets them know they are part of a team and each person’s effort is needed.
When is the last time you gave credit to someone even though you deserved it?
Question for you: What benefit will you observe by giving credit to others?