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How to Deal with Lazy and Incompetent Manager

January 15, 2019

A manager is a person who should be able to lead, direct, and encourage employees to perform better and actively engaged at work. Managers are also considered to be a group leader that has responsibility to take their staffs to an advanced career. Moreover, having a great manager that can lead employees is likely to increase employee engagement and retention. HRB quoted that a good manager only requires common sense, and therefore it is easy to be one.  

Unfortunately, research found unfavourable findings regarding to this matter. According to Gallup report, only 13 percent employee worldwide are engaged at work and employee turnover rates are high in almost every country. One of the most common causes of high turnover and low engagement is owing to bad manager who has little value in making efforts when leading their team. There are two symptoms associated with lazy managers: (1) a tendency for managers to blame low performance and turnover on employees, and (2) a tendency for managers to look for quick fixes to complex retention problems.

See also: 4 Most Frustrating Things a Manager Can Do

Lazy managers often consider good management as a simple method. That being said, when something is not right, they will draw to simple and easy solutions. Thus, some problems that are needed to be analysed and get proper solution cannot be fixed. The problem might even get bigger and take too much time to solve.

Annie McKee, the founder of the Teleos Leadership Institute and an author, said that most people have had experience with someone who is incompetent and lazy, or probably unhelpful. When you feel that you can no longer deal with such bad leader, leaving your job might be an option to avoid having business with them. However, before sending a resignation letter and jumping onto the next job search, you could consider these tactics.

Tactic 01 Understanding the ‘why’

Before saying that your manager is incompetent or lazy, you should first check on yourself. Is it because you are jealous of the position? Or is it a natural tendency to resist authority? Be it these reasons or another, it is always a good thing to reflect on oneself. By learning more about the ‘why’, you will clearly understand whether the problem comes from you or from the manager. Hence, you can conclude a better solution instead of leaving the team altogether.

Tactic 02 Ask for help

Instead of complaining about the issue, you better ask for advice. You can ask for suggestions from trusted colleagues, spouses, families, mentors, or coaches about the problem. Seeking people’s advice is always a better solution as they can give fresh perspective on how to cope with the issue.

Tactic 03 Lead up

Rather than worrying over bad boss, you might want to consider about filling in holes in the company that the manager is missing. It could be challenging as somehow you need to lead yourself and be “your own manager”. You can gain meaningful experience from doing so. In this case, you do not need to cover your current manager’s mistakes, but rather do what’s best for you and the company. Also, you should never do it because you ‘have to’, as it will only decrease your motivation. Instead, you should do it because you care about the company and your own wellbeing.  

Tactic 04 Be good to yourself

Lazy and incompetent manager can impact the whole office environment that is bad for your health. Creating boundaries to protect your wellbeing and happiness is crucial, especially under such situation. Focusing yourself on things that makes you happy and engaged in your work can likely make the situation better.  But of course, if you aren’t able to do that, moving on could be the best choice.

Read also: Leadership Competency: Great vs. Average Leader

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