Behavior at Work

A work situation came up this week that caused me to stop and evaluate how to approach the belief that other people get to act anyway they want.

A mistake was discovered in a shared document at work. My peer accused my employee of purposely making this mistake and doing so to make her employee look bad – even after my employee said she didn’t do it. Both of our direct reports claim to not have made the mistake. The team is now divided, tense and suspicious of each other.

I would like to speak to my peer about this issue to ask that I be included in a conversation like this in the future WITHOUT telling her how I think she should have behaved in this case. (She gets to behave however she wants, right?). I want to be sure I am speaking to my peer from a neutral position with the mistake in the document being a neutral event. I want to share that both employees could be telling the truth and that an unknown issue or system glitch could have caused the error. Her believing my employee “did it” does not make it true. Do I say this to my peer? (Which feels like unsolicited coaching.)

Can you provide guidance on what I see as 2 different situations on how people get to behave?
1). people can show up however they want in their life
2). our workplace behavior protocol that is prescriptive of acceptable behavior – doesn’t allow people to show up however they want

Thank you!