'Dear GMA' Entry: Are You Our Next Advice Guru?

What would you tell this person: "My boss keeps taking credit for my ideas. What should I do?"

While imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, stealing credit may be the most frustrating, but it's still a genuine compliment. While your instinct may be to beat her to the credit punch next time, instead try a new direction and keep this professional bridge unburned. Undoubtedly, her actions come from a bit of insecurity. We all have some so use hers to your advantage. When you successfully complete a project throw her some credit. "I've learned so much from you. Thanks for the mentoring!"

Be sure to elevate your boss when appropriate and honest: "Jane is a brilliant strategist, we make a good team!" Doing this may feel like eating an old sandwich -- hard to swallow -- but you'll still be satisfied and potentially fulfilled. Your boss will eventually return the compliments and don't be surprised if at her next promotion she takes her own personal cheerleader along!

Essay:

Even as a child, every day I would pray my path lead me to help others. This wish has led me to often dispensing practical advice kindly, but very directly. I've seen this life trend continue personally and professionally and have worked in public relations for almost 20 years -- the operative word being "relations."

In that time, I've learned valuable lessons that have assisted me in growing from my own journey and being a good friend and advisor. The keys to my advice are simple and as practical as the advice itself.

Here are some: As a rule, I give advice without judgment and with the understanding that I am only hearing one side. I know that there is good in everyone and in most cases people really do the best they can at the time. I also realize that even a broken clock is right twice a day (just one of my "Heatherisms") and that overall goodness can't be mistaken for an occasional kind act. I distinguish between someone needing a shoulder to lean on or one to cry on -- there are times for both. I relate -- I've had difficulties, like all people, and have found gifts in most of them. Many people can if they look hard enough while some need gifts unveiled to them.

I've also found that every problem does indeed have a solution, even if it's the peace of acceptance. I never forget that most people have the solution within them, sometimes it just takes another person to offer the last piece of the puzzle.

I've learned the key to good advice is giving it without self-benefit. Kindness is key in giving advice and in every situation. The opportunity to help another is a gift to the receiver and giver. I've been blessed to be both.

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