This week I learned a valuable piece of advise: refer to your notes. The example I was given I can’t share, but I will give an alternate example.
A senior executive at a company was being briefed on a new product line. A division manager was briefing the slides when the executive interrupted.
“Bob, I just want to commend you on your briefing slides. They are rather excellent. In fact, they are the best slides I have ever seen.”
The division manager blushed and said, “Thank you.”
The executive continued, “Although I know that you just delegated and had someone else do the slides for you. However, they are excellent.”
As the executive complimented the division manager, a young lady in the back of the conference room spoke up and said, “I helped with the briefing.”
Startled, the executive looked over at the young lady with a very serious face, “Oh really?”
“Yeah!” the young lady replied enthusiastically.
The executive kept staring at the young lady and soon the room grew uncomfortably silent. Finally, the executive spoke up, “I see you have a notepad in front of you.”
The young lady looked down at her notepad and looked back at the executive rather confused.
“Do me a favor,” the executive said, “Take these notes…”
The young lady got her pen ready to write down something.
“Write the words ‘Shut Up’ in your little notepad. If you ever question yourself in the future whether to speak up or not…” the executive paused, “refer to your notes.”
The Moral of the Story?
So what’s the moral of the story? The moral of the story is sometimes it’s better for someone else to take credit for the hard work you have done rather than cast a spotlight (especially a harsh spotlight) on yourself.