Sharing Credit

Good morning! Have you ever given people far more credit than they deserve?

When you work together with somebody on a group project, whatever it may be, you know that eventually, somebody will ask about the workload, and you will have to inform them who put how much effort into it.

The issue is, we are generally very egocentric and are filled with evolutionary defense mechanisms that are designed to protect us against harms and injustice; when it comes to taking credit, we generally want to make sure that people know how much effort we put it; we are the ones who put our blood, sweat, and tears into the work, and we want to be recognized for our efforts.

It clearly goes against our own instincts to give too much credit to the other person; after all, we know how people are, so we assume that if we were to share too much credit with the other person, they might just cut us out of the picture and say we had little to no part in the work.

However, when I think of everything I’ve learned about human psychology, it appears that maybe, just maybe, if we were far more generous with sharing credit, saying that it was mostly the other person who made something happen — even if we’re the ones who did 90% of the work, not them — we can break down the other person’s defenses, and they are far more likely to come around and give the credit back to us. On the flip side, if we undercut them with a lack of acknowledgment, we put them on the defensive and cause them to want to get back at us somehow.

Now, I haven’t been too great at working in groups historically, but, knowing what I know now, I believe that moving forward, I can be far more generous with crediting others for their ideas and recognize that if I just take the posture of serving instead of taking credit, I might end up with far more favor with those who partner with me.

If we strive to do right by people, sure, some might still take advantage of us, but in the long run, we’ll realize that it’s far more important to have friends out there than enemies.

God bless you, have a great day!