Strategies for Dealing with An Incompetent Boss

Strategies for Dealing with An Incompetent Boss

In your career path, as an employee, you may come across an incompetent boss at one point or the other. An Incompetent boss can make the work environment very frustrating for you and the only option at times may be to quit the job. An incompetent boss is someone that lacks the skills, expertise, motivation, vigor, and enthusiasm a job position requires.  As an employee, an incompetent boss’s deliberate negligence, narcissism, and high incompetence should not hamper your performance. Having an incompetent boss should not be the reason why you failed as an employee; this article will explore strategies you need to put in place to deal with an incompetent boss.

The following are strategies for dealing with an incompetent boss;


Analyze what Makes Your Boss Incompetent

The first step you must take is to identify what makes your boss incompetent. There are many ways to be incompetent; do not just jump to conclusions but do a critical analysis of why you feel your boss does not meet up with standards. Beware of sentiments and emotions from your end and make sure your analysis is accurate. Below are ways you can do a critical analysis

  • Analyze your organizational policy, the job requirement of your boss, and evaluate whether your boss is meeting up the standard of your organization. Do not say your boss is incompetent because of the fallout you had with him or perhaps a mistake your boss committed. Make sure you craft your analysis based on your organizational standard.
  • Make sure your analysis is fair to your boss. Do not judge your boss harshly because of the hatred you have towards him/her or judge your boss unfairly because he is not working as you expect him to. Let your judgment be fair, accurate, and reliable.


Figure Out How To Deal With Your Boss Shortcomings

Once you have identified what makes your boss incompetent, the next step is to figure out what to do with his/her shortcomings at work. You may choose to ignore it, fill in the gap, or confront them directly. It is very paramount to identify what will work the best base on the nature of your job.

For instance, you may decide that you want to confront your boss, but this can be very intimidating. You can approach your boss respectively and air your views with a good intention to make the work environment better. Confronting your boss can change the course of events, and it will help you build a strong virtual bond with him but if your boss retaliates negatively; seek help from your HR (Human Resource).


Be an Excellent Employee

Be the better employee and do not let your boss’s incompetence affect your career but strive to maintain excellence at work. Do not let your boss’s behavior affect your career development but do your best. In doing this, a scenario may occur where your boss will take the accolades for your accomplishment; do not let that discourage you, and your ultimate goal should be to make the organization a success.

In addition, you can fill the gap by taking the lead when your boss is not available. If your boss often leaves the gap of leadership void, take the lead and motivate other coworkers to help out. Do not leave the organization stranded because your boss is incompetent but seize this opportunity to show your prowess. Be an intermediary between your boss and other coworkers because you don’t know who may notice you.


Seek Counsel from a Mentor

Sometimes you cannot deal with an incompetent boss on your own, and you may need some help. Look for a mentor or a reliable source both inside and outside to give you advice on how you can deal with your boss at work. Friends and families can also counsel you on the decision to take when dealing with an incompetent boss. It is better if you look for someone in your field to give you advice on the steps to take.  If you get counsel from different sources; weigh which one will work best and give it a shot.


Document the Evidence of Incompetence and Report to the HR (Human Resource)

There are levels of incompetence from your boss that can be so gross that it may implicate your job. If your boss is doing something illegal, or he is going against the organizational policy by doing fraudulent activities; do not overlook it but document the evidence. Make sure your evidence is accurate, track every movement of your boss, and gather enough evidence against him. In such a scenario, the best thing to do is to document this evidence of incompetence and report it to HR. Make sure you don’t come up with grudge accusations like “He is hot-tempered”, “He shouts too much”, “She does not Smile”, and you will only look like an unpleasant employee. Have strong evidence to nail your boss off.

For instance, if you work as an Accountant and your boss siphons money, and you discovered such a criminal offense. Do not overlook it but report it immediately because this can implicate you too.


Ask for a Transfer or Seek Employment Elsewhere

Some organizations have branches locally, nationally, and internationally. If you are fortunate to be in such an organization; demand for a transfer if your boss is still unbearable despite all your efforts. Make sure you research other localities of your company to see if the management style is suitable for you before you embark on a transfer.

Furthermore, if the level of incompetence from your boss is so gross and is a risk to your job;  the only option left is to take a drastic step and resign. If their incompetence is a threat to your emotional or physical health, look for employment opportunities elsewhere. You must learn to accept that there are people you can’t work with no matter how you try and being stuck with such people will be a disaster.



As an employee, you may have the best interest of your organization at heart but having an incompetent boss can be a severe danger to that interest. Working with an incompetent boss can be very difficult and that’s why these strategies have been mapped out to help you deal with an incompetent boss.

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