I have an incompetent boss. How this man moved up into a role where he is in charge of a large group of people is beyond me. He is unable to communicate effectively. He makes professional promises and doesn’t keep them. And he consistently leaves me hanging when it comes to things he is in charge of, such as my hours and duties.
He is a horrible, and I hate having to deal with him, so I try my best not to have to. But, his incompetency ensures that I’m always having to clarify things and ask him to do his job so that I can do mine.
If you are like me (and I know there are thousands upon thousands of people out there like me), then I have a few tips, from experience, to help you deal with your incompetent boss.
Why Do Bad Bosses Never Get Fired?
You’ve asked this question, right? How can someone who does their job worse than their employees never get fired? Well, the answer isn’t always clear.
The truth is that sometimes they do get fired, but it takes a lot for that to happen. Usually they have to really screw up or piss off the wrong person in order to get fired.
Sometimes they keep their job despite being bad at it because of company politics or favoritism. Many people who become the boss know exactly who to kiss up to and how to kiss up to them.
Other times, they manage to hang on to their role because they have been in the company for a long time and have built relationships with higher-ups. For some reason the higher-ups do not see them at their worst. Perhaps these bosses blame other people for their incompetency, so the higher-ups never notice that they are the ones really bad at their job.
Another reason could be that they possess certain skills or knowledge on paper that is crucial to the company, making it hard for them to be replaced. While most of us know that education is not the same as experience, this doesn’t seem to matter as education is often required to fill a role.
And unfortunately, sometimes it’s as simple as no one wanting to deal with the hassle of firing someone and finding a replacement.
But regardless of the reasons, these bad bosses rarely get fired. So, we have to learn how to deal with these bad bosses professionally.
5 Ways To Deal With An Incompetent Boss (So You Don’t Go Insane)
1. Make Things Crystal Clear To Them
When you make things crystal clear to a bad boss, you are not leaving any room for error on their part and it makes your life much easier.
Things you want to make clear are:
- Your duties
- Your hours
- What you will and will not tolerate
- Your boundaries
If they consistently forget to put you on the schedule, for instance, write down your available hours, bring it into them, and document that you have told them exactly what hours you are available and should be scheduled in for.
Of, if they try to make you do more work than you should be doing, have a talk with them with human resources present to make it crystal clear that you cannot do two people’s jobs and are not willing to take on an extra job.
A bad boss will be less likely to get away with stuff when they know exactly what your boundaries are and know that other people know them as well.
2. Document Everything
Documenting everything is crucial when dealing with a bad boss.
If your boss has ever told you “I never said that!” or “I don’t remember that conversation!”, then you know the importance of documenting everything and having the receipts to prove it.
Keep a record of all emails, conversations, and anything else related to your work and interactions with your boss. This will not only protect you in case of any disputes, but it will also help you keep track of your work and progress.
3. Communicate Effectively (Even If They Can’t)
Even if your boss does not communicate effectively, effective communication on your part is key when dealing with a bad boss.
Be calm and professional when expressing your concerns or issues. No matter how many buttons your incompetent boss has pushed, avoid getting emotional or confrontational as it may only escalate the situation.
Use “I” statements to express how their actions or behavior affects you, instead of placing blame on them. This will save you a lot of headache as a bad boss is often a resentful boss who punishes employees that make them feel incompetent in any way.
This does require you to suck up any anger or resentment you have towards them and be the bigger person emotionally and professionally, but it’s worth it. If you stoop down to their level, they can make your life a living hell, which is almost unbearable when you have a bad boss.
4. Do Your Job Well
Do not give your bad boss anything to criticize you about.
Be on time, complete your tasks accurately and efficiently, and maintain a positive attitude. This will not only impress your boss but also show that you are capable and competent, despite their attempts to undermine or discredit you.
It may also make them think twice before trying to complain about you or put blame on you. If it’s obvious to them what a good worker you are, then they know it will be obvious to other people.
5. Do Not Let Them Walk On You
Bad bosses like to walk all over their employees. They use them, mistreat them, and try to make them feel inferior. And the more you let them do it, the more they will do it.
Stand up for yourself when necessary, but do so in a calm and respectful manner. Do not be afraid to assert your boundaries and express when something is not acceptable to you.
This will show your boss that you are not afraid to speak up and will not tolerate any mistreatment. It will also make them realize that they cannot easily manipulate or control you.
15 Affirmations To Use When You Have In Incompetent Boss
My boss is incompetent. That is an affirmation that may be true, but it will drive you insane knowing that you are working for a horrible boss. There are much better things to affirm to yourself if you have an incompetent boss.
- I am a valuable and capable employee, regardless of my boss’s opinion.
- I will not let my boss’s incompetence affect the quality of my work.
- My worth as an employee is not defined by my boss’s actions or behavior.
- I refuse to let my boss’s negative attitude bring me down.
- I will stay focused and motivated, despite my boss’s incompetence.
- I am in control of my own career and will not let my boss hinder my progress.
- I choose to remain positive and professional, even in the face of an incompetent boss.
- My talents and skills are valuable, regardless of whether or not my boss appreciates them.
- I will continue to learn and grow, even if my boss does not support me.
- I am capable of handling difficult situations, including dealing with an incompetent boss.
- I will not let my boss’s behavior affect my self-confidence.
- My happiness and well-being are not dependent on my boss’s actions or words.
- I choose to focus on the things that I can control, rather than dwelling on my boss’s incompetence.
- I am a strong and resilient individual who can overcome any obstacle, including a bad boss.
- I deserve to work in a supportive and healthy environment, and I will work towards achieving that goal.
Remember, your boss’s incompetence is not a reflection of your worth or capabilities as an employee. Stay positive, stay professional, and never let your boss’s actions bring you down. You are in control of your own career and happiness, so don’t give that power away to an incompetent boss.
Appreciate Your Own Work Even If A Bad Boss Won’t
One common theme with bad bosses is that they don’t appreciate your hard work. This is beyond frustrating and can make you feel undervalued and demotivated. But instead of seeking validation from your boss, learn to appreciate your own work and efforts.
Take the time to acknowledge your successes and accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrate your victories, whether it’s completing a project on time or receiving positive feedback from a client. Give yourself credit for the hard work and dedication that you put into your job.
By focusing on your own achievements, you can build self-confidence and boost your motivation to continue doing great work, even if your boss doesn’t acknowledge it. Remember, the most important thing is that you are proud of yourself and your work.
Seek Support Outside of Work
Dealing with an incompetent boss can be emotionally draining, and it’s important to have a support system outside of work. Talk to your friends, family, or a mentor about your frustrations and seek their advice and perspective.
You can also consider joining professional networks or groups where you can connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. This can provide a sense of community and understanding, as well as valuable insights on how to cope with a bad boss.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and stress of dealing with an incompetent boss, but it’s important to prioritize your own well-being. Make sure you are taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Find healthy ways to cope with the stress, such as exercising, meditating, or spending time doing activities that bring you joy. Make sure to also set boundaries and take breaks when needed, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Remember Your Goals
In the midst of dealing with a bad boss, it’s important to not lose sight of your career goals. Remind yourself why you chose this job and what you hope to achieve in the future. Keep track of your progress and celebrate your accomplishments, even if they may go unnoticed by your boss.
By remembering your goals, you will be able to focus on the broader aspect of your job, and not just your boss. This will make it much easier to show up and deal with your incompetent boss.