For many, playing the “blame game” is a part of everyday office life, and quandaries such as why you shouldn’t deflect blame for your mistakes at work may seem like incongruent questions. In reality, being a blame deflector is not a positive role to take, and can actually result in potentially serious career consequences. There are certainly some valid reasons behind the wisdom of taking responsibility for your actions.
The simple answer behind why you shouldn’t deflect blame for your mistakes at work is simply that, if you make blame deflection a habit, that is what you will become known for. Since that is a negative trait, this is an undesirable position. People will begin to think of you as the guy or girl who is constantly blaming a lack of resources, pointing fingers at hapless co-workers, placing vague qualifiers on results, and other less-than-stellar activities. Being the blamer is not where any worker should want to be.
In order to deflect blame, that blame must be transferred somewhere else, and deflecting blame onto co-workers is the common tactic. Inherently, though, this means that you are placing the blame for mistakes on someone who has not made them; many times, this victim will discover the source of the blame (that would be you), and that relationship is now a negative force in the workplace, even possibly leading to strife that affects productivity. In order to avoid burning every relational bridge you have established in the office, you should instead strive to maintain positive networking with everyone and not put blame on others for your own missteps.
Experienced employees in management or other positions will readily acknowledge that, much sooner than a blamer, they will respect someone who can “own” their mistakes. This shows a message of confidence: By firmly accepting the blame, you are also providing an answer in terms of an explanation, and the resolve to not let it happen again. After all, mistakes are inevitable, and any reasonable boss should know this, so although the face-to-face conversation may be unpleasant, it will always be better to just get it over with and move on rather than continue deflecting blame and possibly inflating the issue.
Knowing why you shouldn’t deflect blame for your mistakes at work is an integral part of anyone’s mastery of office politics, rife with all its subtleties and nuances. However, at least by not deflecting blame, you are keeping peer interaction intact and healthy, thus affording opportunities to make up for other shortcomings by relying on enhanced teamwork.