by Bridgitte Krupke
It's never easy to be told by a coworker or
superior that you have made a mistake. Especially, when you are not the one responsible for the mistake.
Especially, when you are not the one responsible for the mistake.
Chances are at some point you have been a player in the Blame Game. A mistake occurs and everyone ducks for cover. Eventually, when the smoke clears people come out of the rubble to analyze what happened.
However, when it is unclear as to the reason for the mistake the following two scenarios generally occur: The Finger Pointing Scenario and Oops, I Goofed.
The Finger Pointing Party
co-worker has several years seniority and has taken on the
role of showing you the ropes. Your co-worker makes a mistake and when reprimanded
places the blame on you.
Now you have 2 problems: you are furious with your
your superiors think you have made a mistake.
So what do you do?
One of the worst things that you can do is to immediately charge up to the supervisor and insist that your co-worker is the real culprit. Remember your main objective is to clear your name not to cause an office war!
Clearing your Name
Set up a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor to discuss the situation.
Calmly explain to supervisor, that you were not involved in the mistake.
Assure your supervisor that you will do everything in your power to clear up the problem.
Keep things neutral with your co-worker.
If your co-worker continues to cause trouble, make an appointment with the HR Department.
Oops I Goofed!
Alright, this time you did make a mistake. You forgot to implement the changes your client requested. To make matters worse, your client's way of dealing with problems is to challenge the limits of his vocal chords. Getting yelled at can put anyone on the defensive and make the "ready to rumble".
I used to burst into tears each time
I got yelled at. After awhile, I began focusing on something else during a
tirade. Once the yelling stopped, I was able to diffuse the situation
without the waterworks.
I used to burst into tears each time I got yelled at. After awhile, I began focusing on something else during a tirade. Once the yelling stopped, I was able to diffuse the situation without the waterworks.
Diffusing a volatile situation:
Look them squarely in the eye and keep your face expressionless. (This way they will still think you are paying attention)
Once the yelling has subsided, calmly
apologize and taking full
responsibility for the error and assure them that the problem has been taken
Ask that they give you a few moments to collect together whatever you need to physically show them how you intend to fix the situation.