With the colleague who takes credit for your ideas, once you know she has the tendency to do this, you have to be vigilant about protecting your work. You should already be promoting yourself – collecting testimonials from people who have complimented your work, creating and sharing status updates for your manager. So there should be some paper trail already that you are contributing. With ideas, share them first with trusted mentors only and then directly with your manager. If it’s your manager that is taking your ideas, stand your ground that you want attribution for your stuff but remain positive and assume the best intentions (i.e., she might have forgotten the original seed of the idea and would have gladly given you credit.) Let her know that you’re glad she adopted your idea to X and would really appreciate having your contribution documented so you can highlight it at the next review.
With the colleague who just doesn’t seem to like you and you can’t figure out why, just drop it if it’s not otherwise impacting your work. If this is someone who keeps you from doing your job by not sharing data you need or otherwise not delivering, then you need to build a bridge with this person and get along. Let him know that you feel there is a problem and ask directly for help in fixing it. Assume this is fixable, and be positive. But if it’s not impacting you professionally, just drop it. You don’t have to be social with all of your colleagues.
It’s helpful to try and get to the root causes of a problem if there is a specific problem. But sometimes it’s personality clash or you may be misinterpreting or reading too much into another person’s interaction. So focus mainly on things you can control: set boundaries; brand yourself; don’t assume everything is personal.
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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart® (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Caroline is a co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and other leading business authors) of "How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times" from Two Harbors Press, 2010. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline has recruited for leading companies in media, financial services, consulting, technology and healthcare.
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