How To React When You Are Held Responsible For The Mistake Not Done By You

At times you receive an unexpected response from your seniors even after doing things exactly the way you were told to do. Should you admit your fault in spite of doing it to the best of your knowledge?  What would be your immediate reaction in such situation?

If it is happening for the first time with you, you might want to put your point and prove yourself right immediately. But if it happens quite often, then you are accustomed with the behavior of your boss and you would prefer to keep quiet and/or take the blame temporarily on yourself. It is not an easy task and also not the right approach. You can keep quiet for that particular moment, due to ethical reasons, but the correct approach is to go to your boss with all the documents, supporting and justifying your action, and put your point one-on-one.

  • First analyze does being right or wrong really matters?

Most of the bosses, expects all his subordinates to stand by him even if he is wrong. Even though you know he is wrong but if the loss is very low or you know he can change his mind with time then it’s better to be on his side. As your boss has the power, he would win the right/wrong battle. After all, just like other human beings he also likes being right. This doesn’t mean if stakes are low, you can take the blame and proceed. But in this case you can give it a low priority and can wait for the right time to speak up.

  • Control your emotions

It is really hard to be cool and calm when someone wrongly accuses you. If your manager is irrationally angry, then being defensive can also come across as an attack. Try to postpone the discussion till the time he is in a better mood. In the interim there is a possibility he come to know the truth through other sources. There are very few bosses who apologize to their subordinates, but those who do so are great people. It is important to control your emotions in such situations, as anger cannot resolve any disagreement. Have a cup of tea or coffee with a friend or colleague before the formal discussion.

  • Speak formally

Complete all your paper work before having a formal discussion with your manager. Don’t start the conversation with the words like “I am absolutely correct and these are the evidence to support it.” Instead you can start by seeking permission from your manager that there are few facts which you feel he should know before concluding anything. In case you think you might lose temper during the discussion, sit with a friend to rehearse the conversation, take his/her feedback. Check with him/her where you are unnecessarily loud or aggressive.

  • Be honest about your motives

If the stake is very high, then it is recommended to bring the truth and all the facts on your manager’s table. If it is in the interest of your company and you cannot avoid being blunt, please go ahead.  Think through the specific objectives you want to accomplish, put your point with some examples, case histories or events so that it is easier for your manager to understand. Stay focused and be very sure of the data provided by you.

  • Look from long-terms and higher management perspective

Try your best to engage your manager in a dialogue about the issue that concerns you. After you are through with your part, try to listen to your manager as there could be reasons for his disagreement and initiatives that you haven’t been told about. Good listeners always leave a great impact and succeed in winning the trust of other party. If he still remains unconvinced after a few tries, give it up. Make sure your exit is very friendly and professional. Thank him for the important/confidential information he had shared with you and also for the opportunity of sharing your views.

Your manager has deeper skills and more experience than you do. Also he is always aware of your company’s road map and there is a possibility that his decision which you feel is in current in the current scenario but can be right in long run. You might also gain insights into future directions of your company.

About Aditi Malhotra

Aditi Malhotra is the Content Marketing Manager at Whizlabs. Having a Master in Journalism and Mass Communication, she helps businesses stop playing around with Content Marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is a fine blend of both reality and fantasy. Apart from her professional commitments, she is also endearing to publish a book authored by her very soon.

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