Work Ethics 101: How to Deal with an Incompetent Boss
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Work Ethics 101: How to Deal with an Incompetent Boss

Your boss may be the most incompetent boss in the planet, but at the end of the day, he/she is still the recognized leader. Regardless of how hopeless your superior is, you still get to report to him/her, no matter how you hate the idea. So, here are tips on how to deal with an incompetent boss.

Some of us are managed by an incompetent boss or superior. An incompetent boss is essentially a leader who may look like one but doesn’t act like one. There are also “double whammys” who neither act nor look like a leader. You might even feel more capable than your superior, and would wish him/her terminated for incompetence. Work Ethics, or the “science of good conduct in the work setting,” however, teaches us self-restraint, an acceptable modicum of deference towards leadership, and the use of non-antagonistic solutions. So, bearing this work ethics in mind, how do you deal with an incompetent superior that you hate without appearing disrespectful, mocking or hostile yourself? Here are some tips on work ethics:

Work Ethics: How To Deal With An Incompetent Boss Tip#1:

Keep a semblance of courteousness

Work ethics dictate that when around your incompetent boss – you should smile, look at him/her keenly when being spoken to, listen attentively, and respond politely. A veneer of politeness goes a long way. Never attempt to make faces (e.g. rolling your eyes in disgust during meetings with your superior), answer in a surly or curt manner, or publicly disclose your antipathy towards your incompetent boss. Remember, you are not the boss. No matter how incompetent your superior is, he/she still has the power to fire you. If you value your job, then you have to learn the art of pretending. Fake it until you make it!

Work Ethics: How To Deal With An Incompetent Boss Tip #2:

Give suggestions without looking like “the star”

No boss would want to be outshined, outplayed and outwitted by their subordinates. A superior, no matter how incompetent, idealizes himself/herself as the “good shepherd” that guides the flock of sheep. Being a sheep, you cannot change the course of the flock on your own. Everything must go through your superior. And if you think like your incompetent boss is leading a project or the entire department down the road to hell, then the best thing you can do is to offer suggestions – “offer” being the operative term. Do not impose yourself on your boss. Humbly tender your ideas and ask your boss what he/she thinks. That way, your boss will always have the final word. Your superior should be the star - at least in the surface. Stay behind the curtains and be the brilliant puppeteer.

Work Ethics: How To Deal With An Incompetent Boss Tip #3:

Talk to your Human Resources Manager

This solution is the last resort. If you can no longer stomach the insufferable incompetence of your superior, set a meeting with your human resources manager. Give a comprehensive account of concrete examples that reveal the indisputable incompetence of your superior. Make sure your account is verifiable and reliable. Seek the support of your wok colleagues who share the same sentiment. File a petition to have your boss replaced, transferred or dismissed. This action is risky and may seem like a heartless tactic; but if you sincerely feel like work will be way better without him/her, then so be it.

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Comments (7)

Nice tips to deal with an incompetent boss.

Excellent tips in dealing with a bossy character at work. Unfortunately a lot of us want to be boss and almost nobody wants to be a mere worker.

Yes, excellent tips

Good advice.

Lucky for me I never have an incompetent boss. Excellent advices.

These are great tips. I've had the incompetent boss, and wish I could have remembered these before quitting. :)

It takes some guts to do the last one. Well, bosses can always be managed.