I don't remember the last time someone at work took responsibility for a mistake.
I take that back – the last time, it was me. I reported that I went forward in a project without the support I needed, knowing that I would just have to make do with being shorthanded, overworked, and very nearly overwhelmed. Alright, I halfway take that back – I did this in front of bosses who long knew of the issue and who, in my opinion, should have been quick to say that the responsibility was shared between us with the lion’s share belonging to them for allowing the mismanagement of my time and effort on their behalf. [I’m dropping a lot of context, so I guess you’ll just have to take my word for accuracy.] I’m taking it back because raising my hand to accept responsibility was in no uncertain terms a MacGuffin I played to see where the bosses’ lines were in protecting employees in the future and to see if they would step up to taking the buck.
When I make a mistake, I learn from it. When I learn from a mistake, I am likely to have just become better at what I am doing. In most instances, I think it should be okay for me to admit to an error; especially as I am expected to (at least attempt to) correct my mistakes. Failing to mention a trivial mistake is likely trivial, likewise failing to mention a catasprophic mistake is likely catasprophic. People who don’t make errors are dishonest. They are dishonest since no such infallible person exists. Public admission of errors can admittedly be dangerous, so I’m not advocating that we go about shouting out our foibles willy-nilly. But I do expect that within a team, with one’s manager, and with one’s direct reports it should be reasonably safe to expose one’s stumbling.
Am I off base? Am I asking too much of a team/manager/direct? Is there a different standard applied to, say, women versus men or senior staff versus junior staff?