We all live in an imperfect world where almost nobody lives upto our idealistic expectations. More often the imperfection or incompleteness seems to haunt us in the place or area where we spend the better part of our day throughout our active life-our workplaces. For instance, many individuals have to grapple with a superior who’s not fit to be one either because that he or she does not have the requisite academic qualifications or technical skills or is found wanting in leadership (read people management) skills.
You find yourself nitpicking or grousing about your boss occasionally but then who doesn’t? Bosses or head honchos are as human as we are and therefore prone to making judgmental or managerial errors once in a while or not always deal with us in a manner we’d expect of them. It is always possible to take things in our stride if our superiors make mistakes or are not able to take the right decisions not because they’re inherently incapable but because they’re hamstrung by the prevailing circumstances.
But what’d you do if you had a boss who was not only incompetent but uncooperative as well? Many people find themselves in a situation where they’ve to deal with an immediate superior who’s uncouth and clearly does not deserve to be in the position he’s or she’s in. Unfortunately, many people are promoted by their respective companies entirely on the basis of their performance or the contributions they make toward the annual turnover or revenue of their organizations.
Many firms and organizations while deciding on the promotions of key employees often do not take into account their managerial or leadership skills or overlook them. While it can be really frustrating to put up with a chief or supervisor who’s fairly and squarely incompetent, having to deal with such an individual on a day-to-day basis can also be detrimental for you career. A boss who is awfully incompetent can demoralize you, drain you of the motivation to work, hamper your productivity and may compel you to give up your job in utter frustration.
How to Tell an Incompetent Boss from an Incompetent One
When you were preparing to appear for the interview you were too focussed on making the right impression that helped you in landing the job in the first place. You were in no position to have got any feelers about the incompetency of your supervisor at the interview stage.
By the same token, your potential boss at the time of the interview was busy putting up his best face forward and didn’t get the opportunity to showcase his incompetence. Once you start settling down into your new job position, the shortcomings and drawbacks of your boss start becoming more palpable than his virtues.
For a start, you see that he usually dithers and vacillates when the situation requires him to take decisions in a split second. Ultimately when he does take a stand, it is taken without any proper planning and without considering the pros and cons. Your boss relies excessively on you and your colleagues to get his job done and also uses his subordinates to cover up for his deficiencies.
It’s really shocking to see how bosses who are complete nincompoops are able to keep their jobs despite their shortcomings. If you’re trapped in a job where your incompetent boss is giving you endless nightmares, you might be tempted to grab the first break that comes your way.
But what if your future boss turns out to be as terrible as the one that you’re planning to leave behind? Sometimes, learning to cope with a bad boss can be rewarding and a career boosting experience. You can go through the following Tips for Dealing with an Incompetent Boss for bettering your position or at least holding on to your job until you find a more prospective opening.
1. Always Project a Professional Attitude
Not getting personally involved when dealing with a chief who is out and out incompetent can be a tall order but you’d find your dealings much easier when you realize that he doesn’t hold any personal grudges. You’d be relieved to know that these types of superiors or chiefs do not nurse any personal grievances against their employees per se but are rather frustrated and perturbed with selves.
Their shouting or hollering at you in front of clients, fellow employees or even in the presence of their superiors is a way of seeking release for their pent up emotions. Your boss might be dependant on you to get his assignments completed at the end of the day. Approach frustrating or annoying situations with your boss in a positive and optimistic manner and view each such confrontation as an occasion to learn something new and become more matured.
2. Make the Most of Your Superior’s Absence
Sometimes your chief might have to take a leave for personal reasons or might have to go out of station for visiting other branches of the company. See all such leaves or absences as opportunities in disguise for making your own mark. You could be squandering away your chance of showing your true worth if you depend on other senior managers or employees for the tasks that your boss expects you to complete in his absence. Have confidence in your abilities and take over when your boss is away. Managing the day-to-day affairs in your workplace during your chief’s absence will prepare you to become the head honcho of your organization in future.
3. Make Up for the Lacunas
Instead of indifferently watching your boss struggling to deal with knotty situations, help him come away unscathed from such occasions. It won’t help matters if you criticize him for his incompetence in dealing with difficult situations. After all he is the leader of the group of which you maybe an important member and you want to make all the right moves as a team member.
Condemning your team leader will not make him more capable but will certainly put you in a bad light. You’ll be cementing your position in the organization and furthering your career prospects if you can help make the sailing smoother for your boss.
4. Record Everything
Bad bosses usually have equally bad or awful memories. If your chief happens to be one who gives instructions to you verbally and then hauls you over the coal for not having followed his directives, then you’d be better off recording everything he says. If your superior is in the habit of denying or rebuffing directions which he may have explicitly given to you some time back, then you should note down every command or directive the instant he gives it. The documentary proof will help you to defend yourself when he pulls you up and expresses dissatisfaction over your work.
5. Timing is Everything
Sometimes it really helps to keep your cool instead of lashing out or arguing with your boss on an equal footing. Timing is of essence when handling conflicting or complex situations with the CEO of your organization. Try to place yourself in his or her shoes and visualize the entire situation from his or her perspective.
If you can do so, then you’ll be able to pre-empt what is coming and prevent difficult situations from developing into full blown crises. Sometimes, your boss may be overstressed as he might have too much on his platter in a particular month and may not respond or deal in a manner you’d expect him to.
6. Sometimes Project Yourself as the Boss
One big advantage of having an immediate superior who’s inept is that you can often make managerial or supervisory decisions on your own and implement them. More often than not, your clumsy boss may drag his feet when it comes to making a judgement or taking a decision on a key matter. Such occasions are in fact, blessings in disguise for you as you get the chance to demonstrate your skills in your area of expertise and get noticed by the top management.
If you can exploit such situations to ameliorate your position and standing in office you might be looked upon as the chief-in-waiting in your establishment. No matter how you upstage yourself, always do it in a manner that does not demoralize your immediate boss, and keep him informed about all your decisions.
7. Spot Trigger Points
Your inept boss might also be given to flying off the handle everytime you report late at your work or commit gaffes that he or she considers ‘unpardonable’. If you know that your coming late to office can make him or her go hammer and tongs then make it a point to be at your desk fifteen minutes before the usual reporting time everyday.
8. Hold Your Tongue
Don’t speak ill about your boss, especially to colleagues or seniors who might have a good rapport with him. In fact, completely refrain from discussing about him or badmouthing him as long as you’re in office. If you go overboard with complaints regarding your superior to someone who is on good terms with him, it may jeopardize your position.
9. Spread Out and Connect
Most individuals, who consider themselves ambitious, work in large corporations and entities for a certain number of years to gather sufficient experience before establishing their own start-ups. If you’ve been working in your company for quite some time now and have amassed enough experience and expertise in your area then it’s time for you to move on especially if you’re stuck because of an inefficient superior.
If you really want to have a successful career you’d need to endorse yourself and the best way to do it is by connecting with key personalities and intensive networking. In conclusion, it is worth reiterating that harping on the negativities and weaknesses of your boss can be demoralizing and lead to unwarranted stress build up. Rather learning to adjust with an incompetent boss can go a long way in helping you to organize yourself for becoming a better supervisor in the near future.