How to Deal With an Incompetent Boss

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Written by Seun Oyediran

How to Deal With an Incompetent Boss

Everyone has in one way, or another worked with an incompetent boss in their life, In fact, over 76 percent say their boss is TOXIC. From pompous bosses, who think they are above mistakes to the ones that make you feel incompetent, bosses are as inept as they come.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are good bosses, exceptional ones, but when you meet a tyrant in a leadership position that affects your productivity, how do you deal with the situation? In most cases, incompetent bosses are pompous leaders who don’t care about what people think and are full of themselves. Incompetent bosses are found in every company and are due to bad decisions and too much trust heaped on a person not fit for the position.

It is not uncommon to find them in top managerial positions. According to careerbuilder.com, 58% of bosses in managerial positions did not receive any management training. They are described as bosses who lack the level of education, qualification, and experience to do a good job. Furthermore, they score low on emotional, intelligence, and social quotient.

While it can drive you crazy working with an incompetent boss, it affects your mental, emotional, and performance level in the office. However, before we job at the conclusion regarding your boss, what makes a boss incompetent?

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How do you know if your boss is incompetent?

Understanding the incompetence of your boss is crucial in dealing with their problem. So before you think your boss is incompetent from your perspective, inquire from other colleagues to see if they have the same narrative as you.

8 Signs of incompetent bosses. They are

  • Lack of personal development – these are bosses that were accorded their current position and see no reason to improve on their skills.
  • Lack of motivation – incompetent bosses cannot motivate others or even themselves. They hand out tasks without taking into consideration the level of difficulty. They also never say positive things about their staff or appreciate them.
  • Inability to produce results – Incompetent bosses are myopic and never produce exceptional results. Such bosses are okay with little success and are indifferent to what others think about them.
  • Poor management skills – the success of any office or workspace is the management skill of the supervisor. When your boss lacks this advantage, everything is chaos.
  • Unable to change and affect change – business is dynamic and even in a difficult situation; a competent boss knows how to effectively handle every situation. Incompetent bosses cannot think on their feet or work under pressure. Such bosses are known to shut off and experience anger instead of displaying calmness.
  • Poor communication skills – Communication is a two-way street and 75% of employees complain of lack of engagement by their boss in the USA. A boss that doesn’t allow or welcome free communication with its employee drive home more than incompetency, which is a detriment to the performance and productivity of the company.
  • Never available or inaccessible – You might have experience bosses in this category; the ones that tell you to take the bull by the horn, do whatever but never have time to listen to you or pitch in as the project progresses.

On the flip side, your idea of an incompetent boss could be jealousy, envy, or stubbornness coming from you. So if all personal feelings are cleared but your boss exhibits any of the traits above, the following are tips to deal with them.

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7 strategies for dealing with incompetent boss:

1. Observe before you speak out

Your boss might be facing personal pressure from their private or work life that is affecting them mentally or emotionally. So before you start spreading rumors and hearsay around office cubicles, understand their plight and think of ways to help out. You also need to know that if you choose to rat them out, you might be treated the same way in a higher position. Furthermore, note how others treat the boss, if the attitude cuts across the board, then pick a few trusted confidants to discuss how to motivate your boss and improve office dynamic and productivity.

2. Take the mantle of responsibility

If you are sure your boss is incompetent, step up to the plate. Let your leadership role shine and manage the office affairs to speed up work and improve productivity. If you can pull off the workflow of the office, it should trigger your boss’s ineffective and make them want to do more. However, it is best to be careful in such a situation as your boss might feel threatened by your supposedly good gesture and make things difficult. So whatever you do, do not undermine their authority or position, work for the benefit of the team without harboring any ill feelings for your boss.

3. Focus on your job

Having an incompetent boss can hurt your productivity and efficiency at the office, which is bad. However, unless you are looking forward to quitting your job, we suggest paying attention to your job, giving it your best regardless of your boss’ attitude. Establish good relationships with your teammates and boss despite the ambiance in the office. Remember that the workspace comprises of different people with different characters, but it is also about your reputation and building a good repertoire for the future. Defecting in your job can have your boss labeling you as the incompetent one, so focus on your job.

4. Do not take their actions to heart.

Yes, it can be hard to totally ignore an incompetent boss, especially when you are working your butts off. However, do not let their problems affect the reason why you are at work. Remember, most bosses are just frustrated at the system or how they are also been treated. So as they shout their way around the office or turn a blind eye to office matters, it is not your business to make decisions for them. Do the above tip – focus on your job.

5. Open a channel of communication with your boss.

Interacting or communicating with an incompetent boss can be draining and demanding, but not being able to communicate with your boss can also affect your productivity. If you are qualified are communicating, remember to drop in a thoughtful comment each time your boss is flaring up. For example, if he is yelling at you, keep a straight face and offer an ‘it will be okay at the end of the conversation or ‘you are doing well. Your boss should gradually open up and have you as a confidant.

6. Document and report to a higher authority

If your boss’s incompetency involves illegal activities that will jeopardize the company’s image or the team, you should have it documented. You should involve a few trusted people who will collaborate with your story when your report to HR. Do not allow yourself to be dragged into their problem.

7. Leave, quit, resign or get a new job

This should be your last resort, but if you feel emotionally incapable of handling an incompetent boss, leave the job. If you have tried to make things work to no avail and there is no improvement in sight, sticking back can damage your career, frustrate you and leave you unhappy and depressed. If there are no other jobs in the pipeline, wait for their incompetency to be exposed to a higher authority. It doesn’t stay hidden forever. While most managers or bosses believe that employees leave their job for money, the fact is 79% left for not been appreciated.

Dealing with an incompetent boss is frustrating and mentally draining. The following tips help you block out all negative energy and push through an uncomfortable situation. However, if you have tried all you could, it is best to leave to maintain your sanity and enjoy peace of mind.

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