My boss blames me for his mistakes. What can I do?
Firstly, from a customer’s point of view, when a mistake is made it is very important to accept and apologize for it. Secondly, it is important that the “right” person apologizes for the mistakes. This right person can be the service man at the front desk or on the phone, the customer relationship manager, the owner, or just any available person in the company. It doesn’t matter who actually made the mistake.
But this is only for external relations. Internally it matters who is responsible for the mistake. For a healthy relationship between leader and team it is crucial that everyone takes responsibility. This is not just important regarding loyalty and honesty, it is also vital for the culture of failure, and leaders are the role models for the failure system in a company.
My suggestion is to reach out to your boss and schedule an appointment where you can talk about this subject – an open and respectful conversation should be possible. It should be equal on each side; so when one party feels uncomfortable in a private conversation, invite a colleague as a counselor or mediator to the conversation.
Geertje Tutschka is the founder and CEO of CLP (Consulting for Legal Professionals), which supports lawyers in their careers around the world with here 25 years of expertise as a corporate lawyer and attorney in Germany, Austria, and the US. Her most relevant topic is leadership. The mother of three daughters is the author of numerous specialist books. Since 2016, she has led the German chapter of the International Coach Federation, the world’s largest association of professional coaches.