Dear Collaboration Corner: Not Getting the Credit

Every month we publish an answer to a difficult project management or collaboration question from one of our readers.   We also publish the letter that will be published in a month.  In this week’s posting, we answer the letter that we received last month.

Dear Not Getting The Credit,

It is great that you are working on a project that you love and feel that you are contributing.

This is a complicated issue.  Your co-worker has an advantage over you because she is local and present at all meetings. Too bad you did not write what those of hand remarks from your manager were! It could be simply a misunderstanding or it might be a real issue.

This is what you need to do:

1. Ask to be included in project meeting via video conferencing.    It will be hard to be told no since this is a reasonable request.

2. When you accomplish something, write a status report, copy both your manager and co-worker.  Keep the report brief and matter of fact.

3. When you are in San Francisco, ask for a meeting with your manager and go over concerns you have. You don’t need to bash your co-worker, just let the manager know that because you are working remotely you feel your contributions may not be visible to the management. Ask your manager what she or he recommends to resolve this issues. Make your manager part of the solution. The good news is that you are working for a small tech company and issues are resolved much faster in these companies compared to big corporations.

4. Ask your manager to have a weekly 1/2 hour e-meeting with you and your co-worker to review the status of the project.

Good Luck,

Collaboration Corner

Next letter:  Too  Much Collaboration

Dear Collaboration Corner,

I am an industrial engineer with five years of work experience.  I recently changed jobs and started working for a company that considers itself at the forefront of working collaboratively.  I think I made a big mistake.

At my new company, we are encouraged to have live group meetings where everyone gets the opportunity to comment and work on projects in real time.  At least a third of my work time is dedicated to these types of meetings.

Here’s my problem:  I have never been comfortable speaking in public.  I love my profession and I think I am good at it, but I don’t like being forced to speak up in a group setting.   Even if I was ok with the public speaking, I notice that a lot of what is said is not even documented and I don’t see what is gained by this constant need to collaborate.

I understand working together in teams, but I feel that I will be penalized and not be considered a team player in my new job.  Is there something I can do to adjust to this environment or should I try to find another job?


Too Much Collaboration

We will publish our response next month to Too Much Collaboration.

David Robins


David Robins is the founder and CEO of Binfire. David studied at both Cornell and MIT, and was the Director of Software Engineering at Polaroid for 11 years.

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