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Top 10 mistakes people make when avoiding accountability at the workplace

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®


It’s not easy to be on top of things all the time; mistakes are bound to happen, and slips at work might happen, but it’s ok! But what is essential is that you realize that you made a mistake or fell short of the responsibility you were supposed to undertake. The critical fact is that you understand what accountable part you were avoiding and how it would have affected your work if you had been responsible. Accountability is crucial in any workplace. It is the foundation of a healthy work culture and fosters trust, respect, and responsibility. However, some individuals need to be more accountable, which can cause problems for themselves and their teams.  

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Here are the top 10 mistakes people make when avoiding accountability in the workplace.

1. Blaming others

One of the most common mistakes people make when avoiding accountability is to blame others for their mistakes. They refuse to take ownership and responsibility for their actions, which can cause a lack of trust and respect from colleagues. Blaming others is counterproductive and can harm your credibility. 

2. Denial

Denial is a defence mechanism people use to avoid facing reality. When faced with a mistake or failure, some people deny it happened, damaging their credibility and trustworthiness. Denial can also cause a lack of respect from colleagues and make it difficult to resolve problems. 

3. Avoiding difficult conversations

Some people avoid difficult conversations to avoid accountability. They fear confrontation or criticism, so they avoid discussing their mistakes or failures. However, avoiding difficult conversations can lead to unresolved issues, which can cause problems down the line.

4. Not taking ownership

Not taking ownership of your mistakes or failures can damage your credibility and trustworthiness. When you refuse to take responsibility, you are telling your colleagues that you cannot handle difficult situations or make mistakes. Instead, take ownership of your actions and focus on finding solutions. 

5. Excuses

Excuses are a way of avoiding responsibility. People use excuses to deflect attention away from their failures or shortcomings. Excuses such as “I didn’t have enough time” or “I didn’t have the resources” are not valid excuses for not taking accountability. Instead of making excuses, focus on finding solutions to problems. 

6. Not learning from mistakes

Not learning from mistakes is a missed opportunity for growth and improvement. When you fail to learn from your mistakes, you are more likely to repeat them in the future. Instead, take the time to reflect on your mistakes and identify what you can do differently next time. 

7. Not apologizing

Not apologizing for mistakes or failures is a sign of arrogance and a lack of respect for others. When you fail to apologize, you tell your colleagues their feelings and opinions do not matter. Instead, apologize when you make a mistake and show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

8. Not following through on commitments

Is another way of avoiding accountability. When you fail to follow through, you let your colleagues down and show them you are not dependable. Instead, follow through on your commitments and deliver on your promises. 

9. Not seeking feedback

Not seeking feedback is another way of avoiding accountability. When you seek feedback, you can take advantage of valuable insights that can help you improve. Instead, seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors to improve.

10. Missing deadlines

In the end, that’s what your team is supposed to deliver, or you are entitled to deliver your projects on time, but you need to be accountable for the deadlines and the critical milestones. Whereas, if you mark your short-term goals, then those goals will help you guide the route to the final project target or completion. 

Therefore, here are some tips that you can consider to ensure that you don’t end up avoiding accountability; one must become proactive and plan things, work on the forthcoming challenges, take ownership and work on the feedback provided by peers or seniors as that will help you to improve faster, must build open and robust communication amongst your team members as that will help you understand each other better and create a respectful and trustworthy environment and stay positive at last.  


Accountability is not always easy, but it is necessary for personal and professional growth. By recognizing these mistakes and implementing these tips, individuals can foster a culture of accountability in the workplace and achieve success in their careers. By taking ownership of your actions, communicating openly, admitting your mistakes, setting goals, being reliable, learning from feedback, and apologizing, when necessary, you can build strong relationships with your colleagues, clients, and supervisors and achieve success in your career. Therefore, it does matter why you avoided the accountable behaviour as it can lead to further consequences and impact your work and performance. See the reason why you require to avoid it. Was it good enough for you not to be accountable, and what consequences did it lead you to? Did it impact your overall exceptional performance? Do your peers respect you or otherwise?