At two of the companies I've worked for so far, I've run into a strange issue with my boss. I come up with an idea to solve a problem, and it gets ignored, or at most gets barely any reaction. As soon as someone else presents the same idea (so far, it doesn't seem to matter who else suggests it), suddenly it's great and important and we need to implement this solution right away. For example: I, along with another co-worker, had to organize a bunch of parts for multiple projects. I told our boss that if we get a bunch of bins and rearrange some shelves, we can find everything quickly and easily and keep everything sorted by project. He said no. Later, the woman who managed everything in the front office and one of the boss's friends both suggested the same thing I did, and then our boss suddenly wanted to do this. What exactly is happening in this situation? I can't tell if it's something I'm doing or not doing, or if this is a common occurrence and it happens to everyone.

  • This is very common. Maybe call it the "prestige bias" , though it seems that refers to a different thing. Anyway, it is common enough . Do not despair. It could have been that you were the silent initial nudge.. and the woman was the one who dovetailed with your efforts, and both of you persuaded your boss. But she gets the credit May 4, 2017 at 23:55
  • Possible duplicate of How can I get co-workers to buy into some of my ideas?
    – gnat
    May 5, 2017 at 4:06
  • 2
    And you're not even female?
    – user14026
    May 5, 2017 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


I've definitely experienced this in more than a few workplaces... It's​ annoying to say the least, but it's not usually deliberate.

I usually chalk it up to a manager not realizing that something is worth worrying about until they've heard it from more than one person. Often it helps if the second person is more experienced, but that isn't always the case, sometimes it really is just repetition.

Try not to take it personally, just keep plugging along. When you get another idea to improve production it may help to bring backup.

  • 4
    Buy two parrots. ;-) May 5, 2017 at 5:21
  • +1 for repetition. Continuously and totally undramatically repeating your idea every time there's a situation this idea would have helped in the first place.
    – leymannx
    May 5, 2017 at 15:25

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