By Varena Harding, CAPP

We have all been in a situation, especially at work, when someone asks you a question you think you should know the answer to, but honestly you have no clue. It may be easy to just come up with some answer that “makes sense” with no knowledge as to whether it is right or wrong, to get them off your back, but ultimately that does not help anyone in the long run. If you do not know the answer the best thing to do is take accountability and admit you do not know. You would be surprised at how many people would be perfectly understanding with you not knowing everything.

The thing about accountability is that it is not just personal, it is not just about you. Taking accountability benefits everyone around you. It helps build respect in the workplace, and your employees feel empowered in themselves and their coworkers. A person who is accountable does not put the blame on others or shall I say, “doesn’t throw others under the bus.” They are clear about what they expect from themselves and of others. They admit when they are wrong and can fully enjoy when they are right.

Taking ownership of your actions is important. You should take pride in your work when it goes well, but it is equally important to acknowledge failures and own up to mistakes, or errors, so that you can learn from them and make changes.

Varna Harding, CAPP, is Operations Manager for REEF Parking.  She can be reached at