How To Protect Yourself From Blame At Work: 15 Practical Steps

how to prove your worth at work

Want to understand how to protect yourself from mistakes at work? Then you are in the right place.

Everyone makes mistakes at work. Unfortunately, sometimes some people enjoy blaming other people for their mistakes. To avoid being falsely accused, you should defend yourself as often as possible.

Start by getting your conversations and business choices down on paper. Then try to establish yourself as helpful and reliable. If you are accused of something wrong, admit it if it is your fault. If not, schedule a meeting with your supervisor and explain the situation.

How To Protect Yourself From Blaming At Work:

1. Use e-mail to communicate.

In some cases, it can be difficult to determine what you said in person or over the phone. It’s much easier to verify the contents of an e-mail because you can simply print it out. If possible, communicate with everybody via e-mail.

Send e-mail to co-workers and employers, in addition to clients and others.

If a face-to-face conversation is required, you can summarize it via e-mail. Summarize the key points of the conversation.

It’s best not to record people secretly. Laws about secretly recording people vary by state and country. In many regions, you can’t record a discussion unless all participants conform to it.

It’s generally better to over communicate than under communicate. Try to interact with colleagues in a different way.

2. Request receipt of goods.

Is there something that needs to be conveyed directly to another department? Do you send anything to customers in the mail? If so, a signature is required to prove that the goods have been received. In the United States, you can send a package with a return receipt if needed.

3. Ask your boss some questions.

If you are not sure what to do, ask someone higher up to make the decision. They take responsibility if they make the wrong decision. Email your questions and save a copy of the answers.

You may hesitate to ask because you want to give the impression that you know all the answers. However, you must do something right or you’ll be held accountable.

It is important to remember not to ask the same questions over and over. If your boss instructs you on how to do something, write it down so you remember. If you keep asking questions, you’ll come off as incompetent.

4. Make customers aware of the risks related to their choices.

If the customer’s choice fails, you may be held liable. Even if customers make a choice, they will claim that you failed to warn them of the danger. If you want people to make informed choices, you must at all times clearly communicate the risks.

Also, ask customers to sign a document acknowledging that they’re aware of the risks. List of the most vital hazards on the form.

Keep the signed document in case the customer later claims that you did not warn him about the hazard.

5. Maintain a positive attitude.

If you have a good reputation with your boss and most of your co-workers, you can refute false accusations. To start building your reputation, start by maintaining a good attitude. You should greet everybody you meet with a smile and the words “good morning” or “hello.”

Handle sensitive co-workers with care. Try to see things from their viewpoint to defuse tension and maintain a lovely demeanor.

Enough sleep so that you’re rested when you arrive at work. Sleep deprived people tend to be whiny.

Some workplaces are so toxic that it is impossible to be optimistic in them. In this case, you should seriously consider quitting your job and searching for another job.

6. On a case-by-case basis, offer help.

This depends on where you work. When you are overwhelmed, most people will appreciate the extra help. However, do not be too helpful as it will give the impression that you haven’t got enough to do.

See if your teammates appreciate your credit for the task at hand. If he does not want to, you’ll have to refuse his help.

If your teammates praise and thank you, you may be capable to help them in the future. They appreciate your help and do not see you as a threat.

7. Keep your promises.

Remember to do what you said you would do when you told a coworker you were going to do something. Leave the excuses at home and ensure you complete your assignments. Keeping your promises will increase your credibility in the eyes of others.

Try to be predictable and reliable. If something goes wrong, people will tend to blame you for it.

8. Admit that you made a mistake.

If you honestly accept your mistakes, you’ll contribute to your credibility. People who consistently deny accountability begin to appear as liars. Instead of admitting your mistake, say, “I’m sorry,” and then explain what happened:

You realize the seriousness of the error. For example, you might note: “I know that this mistake could result in a loss of customers.”

Realize the situation. For example, “I was packing a package for the post office when Mary called and got distracted.”

You made efforts to stop this situation from happening again. “As I was packing our things for delivery, I let the calls go to voicemail, which made sure I didn’t make that mistake again.”

9. Maintain an expert online presence.

If you have a social media account, ensure it best describes you. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date (1) and monitor content from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Consider making your account private.

It’s also worth looking for your information on Google. Look at the top of the first page of results. You want that first page to be a positive representation of you.

Negative content is difficult to remove from Google. However, putting some of the information in a newspaper or trade magazine can take it off the front page. You can even volunteer and then write articles or give interviews to local reporters.

10. Take a deep breath and calmly listen to the accusation.

No one likes being held accountable for mistakes made at work. You might think your heart is going to jump in your throat when your boss calls you into his office. Try to relax as much as you can. Take a deep breath and sit comfortably.

You must maintain your composure when listening to accusations. Make a list of mistakes your supervisor thinks you made. When you leave work, you may not remember everything that was said, so record it carefully.

Remember not to let yourself instantly get defensive. Your employer may be too aggravated to hear you. Unless you are at risk of being fired, you should be capable to get back to the office and collect your thoughts.

If you do not do anything, you can say, “I didn’t do it.” Your boss may not hear you, but you need to express yourself.

11. Examine your role in the situation.

The word “blame” is annoying. It goes to show that when something goes wrong, only one person is to blame. However, many other people may have contributed to the situation. Assess whether you are responsible in any way.

If so, consider what you can do differently. When admitting you made a mistake (2), explain what went wrong and how to do things differently in the future.

Unless you have written evidence that somebody else made a mistake, do not blame them.

12. Gather all necessary documentation

Hopefully, you have saved all the emails, memos, or other evidence that supports your case. Now it is time to track it down and make a duplicate. Remember, you should not offer anything original to your boss.

Sort your documents into a logical order. If your boss orders you to do something in an e-mail and you are being charged a fee, put that e-mail at the top.

Use highlighter to draw attention to important details in emails and other documents. You cannot expect your boss to read fifty pages of content to determine what’s important.

13. Interact with colleagues

If your colleagues trust you, they can be excellent witnesses. One of the reasons you want to connect with coworkers is to avoid situations like this: being blamed for something you did not do. Ask your colleagues if they can speak to your boss on your behalf.

You should not invite your colleagues to meet your boss because if you’re there, your boss may not believe that they’re telling the reality. Instead, they can meet later or send an e-mail summarizing what they know.

14. Maintain complete concentration on your task.

You must continue to do your job well even as you start preparing your defense. Use your lunch break and after hours to prepare your defenses. If you make a serious mistake at work because your mind is elsewhere, you aren’t helping yourself.

15. Make an appointment to meet your boss.

Make an appointment to meet your employer in a day or two. By now, everybody should have calmed down. You can start by gathering documentation and the names of employees who have agreed to appear as witnesses.

Begin the meeting by outlining the accusations against you. Then go to your version of events.

You could explain that “I was too emotional yesterday to talk about it, but now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I want to talk about what happened.”

Use documents to support your claim.

Thank you for reading this article about how to protect yourself from mistakes at work and I actually hope you take action on my advice.

I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.