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I have collaborators in other company who work on similar project. They specialize on technical details, we specialize on applications. We share a lot of information and experience. I shared an idea that seems good, and want to receive recognition for that.

A week ago I had a thought of doing X at my company, and emailed one of the collaborators (Dr Who), saying:

Hi Dr Who, I thought that doing X might be important to increase Y because of [reasons]. We never discussed it before. Are you planning to do something like that at your company?

Yesterday, boss of the collaborator emailed both of us:

We'd like to do X, because [reasons]. Dr Who made some preliminary tests and it will be great for Y! Could you help us get equipment to do it?

I replied saying, yes of course, but also explicitly mentioning that I've talked to Dr Who before. I asked whether their decision to test X was based on my email or they worked on it already, and got reply in return from Dr Who:

No, but if it makes you feel better - sure. We were thinking about doing X, and Z, and W.

Question: did I behave professionally in that situation, asking for such clarification? I want to make it clear that attribution is important, and that I am knowledgeable about X.

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    Why do you share your company information with another?
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 20:19
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    @Kilisi "collaboration" is the official relationship here. Plus another company kinda work on technical (X-related) side of the project, we focus on how to use it Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 20:31
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    Collaboration in a business sense is formalised and professional and your question wouldn't arise, this seems more like sharing company information informally, and wanting recognition for doing so
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 20:33
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    Why is this attribution important? Do you really care if someone's boss at another company thinks you were the only/first one to come up with a particular idea for something at their company? Won't you demonstrate your expertise with X through collaborating with them on their X project? Didn't they ask you specifically for your help with their X because they already know/assume that you're knowledgeable about X? Who is Q?
    – Alex M
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 0:25
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    If you're good at something, never do it for free.
    – Lucas
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

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you asked:

I asked whether their decision to test X was based on my email or they worked on it already,

and they replied

No, but if it makes you feel better - sure. We were thinking about doing X, and Z, and W.

They replied this way because they didn't understand your need for recognition by them. It wasn't even clear reading your post - I was first thinking that you wanted Dr. Who to get appropriate recognition. In general, people are recognized for being part of things that make sense and for having good work and good ideas. Calling yourself out for recognition makes you looks needy. You were already in a good place, which they validated by calling it a good idea.

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    The OP was only "in a good place" with regards to "[being] recognized ... for having good work and good ideas" if their manager and/or team already knew that it was their good idea. You're right about asking for recognition after the fact being a bad look regardless.
    – Player One
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 10:37

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