Smarter Than Your Boss? Here’s How You Should Deal With An Incompetent Boss

You love your job. However, your new boss drives you crazy. Are you wondering how to deal with an incompetent boss? They play smart and claim to know it all. However, they are insecure and a control freak. Not only that they don’t let you do your job, but you have to do theirs too.

It’s frustrating, and I get it. I’ve been in your shoes. Unfortunately, life doesn’t give us too many options. If you cannot prove yourself and get a promotion or a transfer within the same company, you only have two choices:

  • Learn to live with your boss, putting up with their limitations and their insecurity.
  • Find another job and hope you’ll have a smarter, better trained, more productive boss.

The truth is that, even if you leave, there is no guarantee you won’t end up in the same situation. It helps to know how to deal with such bosses. With patience and the right attitude, you should be able to gain their confidence and develop a better relationship.

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How to Deal with An Incompetent Your Boss When You Outsmart Them?

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1. Treat Your Boss with Respect

I bet you sometimes wish you could smash their head against the desk and call them stupid. You can imagine doing it if it helps. However, remember to remain polite and respectful at all times.

After all, they are your boss. Moreover, disrespecting them will not improve your relationship and will not make you look better in front of your colleagues and superiors.

2. Don’t Criticize Them to Third Parties

An important way to deal with an incompetent boss is not to criticize them in front of others. Sometimes, you feel the need to tell your story out loud, to complain about the mistakes they make and their insecurity. Don’t!

Everyone will think you are envious, and even if they believe you, gossiping can’t make you look good. If you can’t say nice things about them, avoid the subject altogether.

3. Consult Your Boss in Everything You Do

If they tend to double-check everything, don’t make them ask you. Whenever you work on something they usually double-check, ask them to review your work.

When you have decisions to make, ask for an opinion, but make sure you let them know what you intend to do and why before they have a chance to express an opinion.

It should be something along the lines of: “Boss, what do you think: should I……? I was thinking I should, because…but you know better, so I thought I should ask for your advice.” I bet they will approve and act as if it had been their idea.

4. Acknowledge Their Position and Respect Their Decisions

Whether you like it or not, they are your boss for a reason. They have the right to control your actions and boss you around, and nothing you can do can change that. Instead of acting behind their back and making them feel you are the enemy, show them you accept their presence and their role in the company.

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Acknowledge their power and let them do their job, as well or as lousy as they can. If you are worried you may be held responsible for their mistakes, cover your tracks. Keep emails, text messages, and recordings of the instructions you receive.

If you stop fighting your boss and questioning their decisions, with time, they will no longer feel compelled to check everything you do.

5. Work with Your Boss, Not Against Them

Conflicts won’t help your relationship. Cooperation will help you deal with an incompetent boss. If your boss sees you respect their decisions and follow instructions, they will gain confidence and give you more freedom.

In the end, you are both on the same team and you have or should have the same goal. You have to work together and make the most of your situation. It may take some time and biting your lips not to curse, but it will be worth it.

Although you may not realize it, everyone else will eventually see your boss for who they are. If you keep to yourself and cooperate, they will appreciate your commitment to making things work.

Your boss’s incompetence will eventually come out and work against them. If you work against each other, the results of the team will be lower, and no one will appreciate your superiority.

6. Focus on the Full Side of the Glass

Another best way to deal with an incompetent boss is to look at the brighter side. Sure, things didn’t go as you expected. However, not everything is that bad. You still have a job and a chance to advance in your career.

If you give them a chance, your boss will eventually appreciate your knowledge and skills and reward you accordingly. Instead of complaining and focusing on the things you don’t like, focus on the positive and work with what you’ve got.

7. Build Your Career Instead of Undermining Others’

I bet you sometimes feel like exposing your boss’ incompetence and letting them make stupid mistakes. Unfortunately, harming their interests won’t help you. Even if you manage to get them fired, your other superiors will worry that you may do the same to them.

Instead, you should focus on your career, on proving your competence to both your boss and your other superiors. This way, no matter what happens to your boss, no one will have reasons to pick on you. You will also feel better and have a clear conscience.

The Bottom Line about Outsmarting And Dealing With Your Incompetent Boss

It may seem strange not to attempt to prove that you are smarter than your boss. However, it is an excellent strategy. Take it from someone who started as a waitress and ended up assisting project managers and negotiating huge contracts.

It doesn’t matter whose name is on the papers, and who does what. No one can take what you know from you, and it is better to be a valuable asset to the team and your boss, than to become the enemy everyone fears.

I learned this the hard way. I used to do all the work and let my boss get the credit. Everyone saw a dumb secretary, and no one knew that the dumb secretary was the one preparing and signing the most challenging reports, keeping the team together, and avoiding huge mistakes.

However, the fact that I didn’t take credit for my accomplishments and didn’t criticize my boss allowed everyone to see the truth. It gave them time to realize who was working and who spent every day talking on the phone. Yes, I never became a project manager. I never took my boss’s job.

However, I ended up speaking in meetings while government agents and reputed project managers were greedily absorbing every word I said. I ended up taking trips with the company car, receiving a double paycheck, and being part of a close-knit team that I still miss. You can do it too.

Key Takeaways on Ways To Deal With An Incompetent Boss

  • Patience and the right attitude is the key.
  • Stop focusing on your boss’s shortcomings.
  • Don’t gossip about your boss to strangers.
  • Focus on the strengths of your boss.
  • Consult your boss before taking decisions and respect their views.
  • Try to compensate for any weaknesses yourself.
  • You have to work together and make the most of your situation.
  • Time will show who deserves what and bring you the gratitude and appreciation you expect.

Try the above steps and see how it goes. Let us know how it all went, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you remain correct, hard-working, and dedicated to the firm, you’ll surely succeed. You will consolidate your role on the team and build an incredible feature!

Is there anything that I listed that you think will be helpful for you? Leave your comments down below!

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Mihaela is a sociologist, an English – Romanian translator, the proud mother of two joyful girls and the happy wife of her soul mate. She turned writing into a career in 2010 and has never looked back. She spends her leisure time by cooking healthy foods, reading princess stories, watching movies, playing games in the park, or walking along the Danube.