Coworkers that try to checkmate your ideas

Is it like this at your job? Ever do designs and others immediatly designs something that would thwart your idea, withhold some pertinent information that you were not aware of, wanting to see what you are doing all the time, operate in a stealthlike manner constantly engaging in one-upism?
Friendly competition is OK but when does it get out of hand?

That sounds like an awful environment to work in. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one to notice this of others. I always like to think if I notice it, others will and karma will come into play.

As to how to deal with it, make your ideas and thoughts known to your boss/clients or whomever and get the recognition you deserve. If it’s more serious, you can talk to your manager about what he or she thinks you should do (try not to mention names if possible, just let them know what’s happening). Of course you don’t want to be seen as complaining or incapable of dealing with minor issues yourself.

I’ve only noticed this kind of situation in school. Outside of that, people seem to be more mature and respectful… but I’m sure that varies!

You can always find employment elsewhere :wink:

Yes, and unfortinatly it is my boss. I have just learned to ignore comments, ask a lot of questions up front, and if something is not clear go to the person with the answers. This is very common in a corporate setting as everyone is out for themselves. You just need to take the initiative and learn other ways to get the info you need.

Also try not to get wrapped up in who knows what and what is not being told. Usually people that act this way do not last long, or everyone else starts to catch on to what they are doing which makes you look like the good guy. Just keep doing what you do and you will eventually come out on top.

Good Luck!!!

thanks fellas,
I wanted to test the waters and see if this is common in ID. When there are bonuses/incentives at stake I guess people will act a certain way. Of course you can seek a new gig but it’s not easy when jobs are scarce and you cannot relocate.

Yes, I know what you mean.

From my experience it’s quite common when in a mixed environment. I mean not just designers. Designers are aware that its wrong, and most avoid doing it (I think). Not necessarily because they wouldn’t like to but because it can be obvious.

But with marketers around… They usually do that : ask the expert for an answer. They ask the designer for a product, the graphic designer, the consumer research bureau for answers. Then its normal for then to pick your ideas and sell them as theirs.
In a corporate environment it happens all the time. Because they aren’t ashamed at all of doing that. They think you owe them answers. And because we the designers are “problem solver” kind of persons. And intuitive too. So when faced with a situation we immediatly think of it as a problem, our mind switches on “solving mode” and an answer just pops out of our mouth. Actually you wonder why they didn’t think of it before ?

We instead should be thinking a little bit about our careers and a little bit less about giving our ideas for free.

When faced with such a situation try to refrain from talking. Act the “shrink way” Uhu…Ok…What do you think about it ?
And try to explain just to the person on top your ideas, not to everybody who ends up with all the credit.

I’ve seen several behaviours about this around (marketers):

  • The one who doesn’t even understand your idea is good. Terrifyingly frustrating, especially when it’s your boss. Try to explain everything in detail in step by step mode rather than intuitive Shazam ! kind of answer. His mind isn’t wired for jumping to the answer, so try to make it logical.
    The “It’ll never work” kind of person.

  • The one who see your idea is good and then is happy to give the answer to the boss. Forgetting to mention you…Try to make formal presentations with the three of you including the boss. Avoid giving ideas in speech but on emails with your boss in “copy”
    The “Here’s the answer” kind of person.

  • The one who is actually aware he/she doesn’t have ideas of his own, is afraid someone may notice and actually as developed a way of working : he/she scans ideas all the time, picks the good ones and manage to make believe he was the one who originated this. The only nice aspect is the paradoxical aptitude to identify promising ideas when incapable of having a single one.
    If you manage to “brand” the idea as your’s can be a good advocate for the project. Try putting your name as a signature in the images/presentations you give him/her.
    The “Here’s my answer” kind of person.

  • The one who like to say this idea comes from “…” here your name. Rare, but some people have this attitude. It ends up nicely : when they act that way they are seen as team players, people love them for that and you both gain. Try to work with them.
    The “Here’s his answer” kind of person.

All this may seem paranoïd but I didn’t realized this until recently, and now I’m truly fed up of giving ideas for free.

There is also another one : the one who is so unconcerned he won’t even realize there is a problem, there is a solution and now what ? The idea will just stay there. He just wanted to have something to put in his .ppt presentation.
The “fill-in the blanks” kind of person. Just try to avoid working for those, its a waste of time.

I work with everyone of those everyday. God, the more I write about it the more I realize how much that bothers me …