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Partnership Pitfall #6: Taking credit vs. sharing credit

This week’s pitfall is connected to last week’s post on self interest vs. group interest. If you have ever struggled with which logos to put on a document or whose name goes first on a document, you have likely experienced the challenge of “sharing credit.”  If specific organizations attempt to take credit for the coalition’s collective work, it creates conflict and competition within the organization. Conversely, if the coalition attempts to “take credit” for the work of several organizations without acknowledging those organizations, that will also create conflict. One of the most successful approaches to addressing this pitfall is that “everyone can share credit.” Join me this week as I highlight three steps to take to help your coalition overcome the pitfall of “taking credit vs. sharing credit.”

  1. Set expectations early. When you begin the process of developing a product, resource or intervention, discuss who is participating and how you will share the credit for the work before the work has been developed.
  2. Focus on “contribution” rather than “attribution.” When you are writing or presenting your work, resist the temptation to try to assign credit to one organization for a particular success (attribution). You can definitely highlight the role of specific organizations but the outcome is usually a “collective” success rather than the result of one or two organizations. When you focus on the contribution of many people, you are able to share the credit and create additional opportunities for your coalition to work together in future.
  3. Practice sharing credit. One of the best ways to create this culture of “sharing credit” is to practice doing it. You may have challenging situations that require you to revisit your expectations and move toward contribution again, but this is a great opportunity to keep practicing. As you model this shared credit approach, your coalition will get used to sharing credit vs. taking credit. This “habit” will become part of your culture and will inspire your coalition members to continue sharing credit.

So, what about you? What are you going to do this week to help your coalition “share credit” rather than “take credit.”

If you missed my Facebook Live on this post, check it out here!

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

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