Do You Sidestep Accountability w/ I Didn’t Mean Anything by It? | #PeopleSkills

When someone says you’ve insulted them, do you sidestep accountability by saying, I didn’t mean anything by it?

You may tell yourself that you are trying to reassure reassure and make them feel better. However, your response will likely make you look selfish and insensitive.

Sidestep Accountability: Image is tap dancers.

Do You Sidestep Accountability? Image by: You Belong in Longmont via Flickr.

Image is You Belong in Longmont via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Don’t Sidestep Accountability by Being Defensive

When someone takes offense at what you’ve said or done, don’t sidestep accountability. Defensive reactions like, I didn’t mean anything by it, make you look uncaring, self-absorbed, insecure, and emotionally unintelligent.

Defensive reactions …

  • Disrespect others. As you excuse your actions and words, you are telling them their feelings don’t matter — that they don’t matter.

  • Build walls. Why would they want to come around you again? They believe you will treat them badly again and brush it off one more time.

  • Create mistrust. When you sidestep accountability, you destroy the trust you’ve built and create lasting mistrust. This is a huge mistake in business and in life’s relationships.

Don’t Sidestep Accountability — Be Accountable!

  1. Apologize unconditionally. “I am sorry for what I said and for the impact it had on you. I truly apologize.”

  2. Show them you respect them. “You deserve better. I do respect you and will make sure my words and actions show that.”

When you sidestep accountability about what you’ve said or done, you disrespect and demean others. They will resent you and mistrust you. This will limit your success.

Show your integrity. Be accountable. Remember, there are many benefits for you too!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
7 Benefits to You of Being Highly Accountable
Rebuild Trust & Respect: Give Unconditional Apologies
The Perfect Apology and One Word That Destroys It

©2018 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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2 Responses to “Do You Sidestep Accountability w/ I Didn’t Mean Anything by It? | #PeopleSkills”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    Right on! Intentional or not, we can’t brush off when our words hurt others. Accountability is key. We said them, they landed. When someone says to me, “I didn’t mean it” I usually give them the benefit of the doubt the first time but more often than not, it happens again. That’s when someone is revealed for who they are. So much better to take your advice and apologize and choose respect over ego.


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