Mark’s Blog

Welcome to the 31st blog in the series “52 blogs in 52 weeks with each blog being about one of my 52 types of people who are poorly behaved and at times downright difficult”.

The blog this week is about Type 23: The Credit-Taker.

#23: The Credit-Taker.

The Credit-Taker takes credit when they’re not entitled to it.

Sometimes, they take credit for things they’re not entitled to take any credit for at all. But at other times, they’re somewhat entitled to take credit but they certainly claim more credit than they deserve.

The sorts of things they falsely take credit for include completed work, good results and personal qualities. Personal qualities can include things like being supportive and being diligent. They take credit when it doesn’t belong to them do it because it makes them feel good, makes them look good and sometimes also because it makes others look bad.

There are three main ways in which The Credit-Taker take credit. 

The first way is where credit is given to them without them directly looking for it.

Now this has probably happened to all of us at some stage. So we can’t blame the Credit-Taker for someone else’s mistake – unless of course they’ve set the wheels in motion to make sure the mistake occurs.  But what we can definitely blame The Credit-Taker for is when a mistake like this occurs, they don’t correct it. Yes, they might make some attempts to play down the glory but they’ll be half-hearted about it.

And this of course, is in sharp contrast to the rest of us. When the rest of us are given credit we don’t deserve, we make a real effort to correct the mistake and to make sure credit is given to those who deserve it. We’re the ones who’ll say something like: “Well, it wasn’t actually me alone. It was a team effort. I only did some of the work. The real credit goes to ….”

The second way The Credit-Taker takes credit is they lie.

That’s right, lie. Let’s call it the way it is. They say they’ve done things and achieved things when in fact they haven’t. For example, they can add their name to a report. In such cases, they can simply add their name to a list of other authors or they can go the whole hog and remove other names completely and replace them with their own.

It’s appalling but it happens. I was once on an interview panel where an applicant openly lied about the work they’d done. They said they produced a certain report but it just so happened I was well aware of the report and who had actually produced it. They looked at me straight in the face and lied about it. Incredible.

The third way in which Credit-Takers take undeserved credit is less direct.

The third way is by making comments which sow the seeds in our mind that they deserve some sort of acknowledgement or reward. The best way to explain how The Credit-Taker does this is to give you a real life example. So here goes.

Ella, not her real name, is a manager of a fairly large team. Three of the people in her team are Bob (The Credit-Taker), Leanne and John. The three had been working together on a project for some months. Each week, Ella had a meeting with them. But usually, only two attended because it wasn’t always necessary for all of them to come along.

One week, only Bob attended. It was fine because Leanne and John were busy finalising a piece of work for another project. At the meeting Bob made lots of comments which made him look good and at the same time showed Leanne and John in a poor light. If each of Bob’s comments were taken individually, they mightn’t have mounted to much. But when taken together, it was a different story.

Bob started the meeting by telling Ella: “John and Leanne aren’t here, but I am.”  Now it was very clear to Ella who was at the meeting and who wasn’t. There was no need for Bob to say it other than to impress upon Ella he was hard-working, punctual and diligent.

Bob went on to say: “Even though the others couldn’t make it, I wanted the meeting to go ahead because I think it’s very important to keep you informed Ella about the project.” Again, Bob is building himself up while putting others down.

He also said, “John has a lot of things on at home at the moment, so he has to leave work early.” Ella didn’t know why Bob it. Ella was the manager and knew John had to leave early.  But Bob also had a go at Leanne. He said: “Leanne is not particularly experienced with this sort of work but she’s learning.” In this simple sentence, Bob took some credit for helping another staff learn.

And he went on to say:  ‘And I enjoy her light-hearted approach to serious matters.” Yes, Bob actually said it. He underhandedly, but clearly nonetheless, really put the boot into Leanne. And at the same time, made himself out to be a bit of  a hero. He was basically saying:

‘I treat work seriously. I’m a good worker. And I deserve credit for it. On the other hand, Leanne doesn’t deserve any credit. In fact, I deserve lots of credit because neither Leanne nor John are pulling their weight.”

Okay, that’s enough about Bob.

In summary, the Credit-Taker takes credit when …

… it’s not due to them. They can do it by not owning up when it’s accidentally bestowed upon them. They can do it by telling lies about their achievements, good deeds and work record. And they can do it by being sneaky and underhanded. Okay. That’s it. Now for a quick video.

The video.

The soundtrack/audio of the video.

For those who’d like to just have the soundtrack of the video, here it is. Of course you’ll miss out on seeing my lovely face but hey, it’s up to you.

All the very best and have a fabulous day,

Mark.


 

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