Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Confronting an Incompetent Boss

Should we ever confront an incompetent boss or take any steps to try to correct this kind of situation? I'd like to share some guidelines to consider in deciding whether or not to confront your incompetent boss. 

First, is this person's incompetence truly affecting the quality of the product or service that the customer receives? Is it truly causing unfair treatment for employees, others as well as yourself? Is she or he doing things which are contrary to your organization's stated standards and policies? In other words, is there a larger picture here than simply your own irritations and frustrations at having to work for an incompetent manager?

If you're convinced there is a larger picture, then confrontation may be advisable. But, again, this must be done with great respect for their authority. You look for ways to make suggestions for improvement without pointing the finger at them. You try to find a way to make it look like their idea to which you are contributing. You do everything you can not to undermine their own self-image as the boss.

Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness, as we read in Proverbs 16:21, and if we truly want to help our incompetent manager to improve, we have to make our suggestions with carefully chosen words. I am not suggesting we use flattery or deceit of any kind. But if we look long enough, we can find something good to say about them and to them, something positive to lead off with, some way to confront without seeming confrontational.

It's not easy; I know. But let me tell you this. It's a whole bunch easier than doing it the other way. If you've been stewing and fretting over your incompetent boss; if you're constantly frustrated because you want to get rid of him or her or tell them off; if you've been angry at having to put up with their incompetence–tell me, has that been easy? 

Of course not. It's more natural than following biblical principles, but it's not easier. It's harder - takes a much greater mental and emotional toll on you. Doesn't it make sense, then, to simply ask God to give you His perspective and His power to deal with your incompetent boss in a Christ-like way? The good news is, because of Jesus we have the power to do it. But we have to be willing to follow His principles and allow Him to do it through us.

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