How to Deal with Incompetent Managers – A Guide for Employees


Though we’d all like to avoid dealing with people we dislike for one reason or another, unfortunately life proves this is next to impossible. Such situations become especially aggravating when they happen at work: good ideas are turned down without an explanation, employees become stressed out and inefficient, some turn vindictive, while others simply resign themselves to the notion that their career is going down the drain. Luckily, Forbes magazine has got a few tips and tricks for employees that are forced to deal with incompetent managers. So here’s the checklist below – use it wisely and turn a conundrum to your advantage.

Use their weapons against them

Some bosses literally feed off the misery of their hierarchical inferiors. In plain English, they love to see them suffer, whine, complain, and be absolutely miserable. To this end, they will do everything in their power to make sure they reach the above goals. The best way to deal with incompetent managers of this kind is not to play into their power-plays. Do not, for the life of you, cry or whine. Instead, simply walk around the office looking miserable. This won’t stop them from making everybody else feel horrible, but at least it will keep them from lunging into a vicious attack against you.

Deal with incompetent managers by moving up and away

The best way to deal with a boss that’s just sadistic and seems to enjoy making people suffer at work is to flee their presence. If you’re not faced with a manager that will do everything in their power to keep you from advance in your career, then take this as an opportunity to flee the scene. Usually, such people are entirely disenchanted with their own evolution and will stop at nothing from making you feel the same. Since they have absolutely nothing to teach you, don’t waste any time trying to teach you a lesson, it will only emotionally deplete you. Instead, focus all your energy in moving as far from as possible.

Paranoid android

Some bosses suffer from conspiracy theory syndromes and are convinced just about everybody in the organization, from the CEO to the cleaning lady, is out to get them. Usually, they are also reluctant to see employees get transferred, for fear they might divulge secrets about them to other people around the office. Your best approach is to promise them you will hand over a list of everybody in the organization that’s out to get them. Of course, you don’t have to turn into a snitch – just make your promise seem believable and realistic.

How friendly is too friendly?

Some bosses are not evil, nor paranoid, but they seem to be oblivious to the existence of that fine line between professional and friendly relationships. And, of course, a boss that oversteps such limits might prove impossible to get rid of, in the long run. Your best bet? Get them a dog for Christmas. Get them to sign up for classes or find them a hobby of some sort. Just make sure to carefully remove yourself from the situation in the process. If you don’t do this in a timely manner, you’ll most certainly regret it later.

Avoid the scheming type

Nothing quite compares with a scheming, vindictive, Machiavellian type of boss. While we’d love to have some advice on how you could one-up such a person, they often seem far too detached, devious, and uncaring to be affected by any action taken against them. So if you have to deal with incompetent managers of this type, perhaps you would be best advised to consider transferring to another department, or simply steering as clear from them as you can.

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