February 20, 2017 in Leadership
Working with people and managing them is inevitable for a person in a leadership position. To succeed in this role, leaders have to deal with all types of employees, and each one of them poses different opportunities and challenges. While some of these employees are excellent people to work with, some others are the most incompetent. Managing good employees is relatively easy. The real leadership challenge is managing incompetent people. However, by following these steps, a leader can effectively deal with incompetent people.
Patience and a calm mind
These are the prerequisites for an efficient leader to manage incompetent people. If you’re a leader dealing with such employees, you’d already know how they can get onto your nerves and cause frustration. But the last thing you’d want other employees to see is you losing your temper. Stay calm and be patient. Getting angry or frustrated won’t solve a thing. Rather, it would only aggravate the situation. By keeping a calm and cool head, you can view the situation more objectively and take calculated decisions.
Improper communication is one of the biggest reasons for the lack of understanding of the work role, thereby rendering people incompetent. A Work Management Survey conducted by Wrike in 2015 involved 1,464 participants. 52 percent of the participants said that the lack of information was one of the main reasons for workplace stress. 44 percent said that improperly defined accountabilities added significantly to the stress and 44 percent responded that if the leadership hierarchy is unclear, it leads to stress. It is highly likely that the employees you as a leader have termed incompetent might themselves be stressed due to ineffectual communication or access to information, thereby making them look incompetent. Hence, improving the communication process and introducing clarity at every stage of engagement among the employees can help effective dealing with incompetent people.
Maintain proper records
A common trait of incompetent people is that they indulge in blame game by referring to some vague antecedents. And, since human memory can’t record everything, you or their peers might be unable to refute their claims. It is necessary to record every important interaction with people you believe are incompetent so that they can’t play around with you.
Garner strength to take tough decisions
Despite your best intentions, you could end up in a situation where taking a tough decision including firing an incompetent employee might be unavoidable. It is, therefore, necessary that when the time comes for a tough decision, you should have the right mental strength.
Even among the incompetent employees, there are different degrees of in-competencies. Dealing with them requires a subjective approach. The above points cover most of the right things to do while dealing with them.