So I have this pet peeve. Yep. Just one 😉 But since it has to do with building authentic community and our interactions with one another, it seemed only fair that I share it with you. Ready?
It bothers me when people don’t give credit properly.
I’m not talking about citing a resource in the back of a book (because let’s be honest – the last time I had to cite something was enough years ago in college that I’m not willing to think about it) – I’m talking about when you spend time working on a project, brainstorming an idea, or sharing your heart with someone and suddenly? You hear them talking about it like it was all their idea. Your name never comes up. There is no mention of collaboration, or who started the conversation. Or maybe you see your idea, that one you shared from you heart, being done on someone else’s blog or social media stream.
It’s why I always hated group projects. I’m entirely too Type-A for my own good.
There honestly isn’t anything that can be done to change how other people act in these situations. I’ve prayed and asked God to forgive the state of my heart more times than I care to admit, because this is something – for me – that quickly crosses the line from an issue of fairness and justice to an issue of selfishness and pride.
It’s a frighteningly blurry line.
Ultimately the credit for any idea, plan, or dream I have belongs to God – and I’ve been convicted with that. Do I give Him the credit when I see a plan working, when platform numbers grow or I receive a compliment from someone? Here’s where my heart is: if we’re in the business and ministry and mission field of creating authentic communities online and in real life, we need to give proper credit.
Giving credit where credit is due builds trust. It creates a sense of teamwork and respect. And when you’re building and seeking and staying in community, those are important elements. So here are 3 ways I’m going to give credit where it’s due, in case you need them, too?
- In Blog Posts – I’m not much of a verbal processor, but sometimes a conversation happens with a friend that sparks an idea. Instead of writing the post as if it was all my idea, I’ll include a sentence that says something like: “This post was inspired by a conversation with X – I’m so grateful that they allowed me to work through and process this with them before I shared it on this page.”
- At Work – When you collaborate on a lot of projects with a lot of people, it can be hard to remember where an idea started or who said what and when. But if I do know? If I know that I’m being given credit for something that another co-worker actually did? I feel responsible to say: “Thank you so much – but it was really X who did that, and I’m so grateful to have been able to work on this with them!”
- On Social Media – The internet can really feel like a space where we’re just constantly reinventing the wheel by taking what someone else has done and maybe adding some glitter to it. But if we post something on social media that was inspired by someone else or shared with us by someone else, maybe we could say: “I’m so glad X shared this with me today – I know you’ll love it, too!” or “This DIY was inspired by X, with my own fun twist.”
When we do those things? When we take the time to acknowledge the work and effort and strengths of someone else? That’s when we start to create community that uses our God-given passions with integrity in a way that feels inclusive, authentic, and honest.