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Dealing with Ineffective Leadership


Ineffective leadership is a common issue in the workplace. Ranging from sheer incompetence, to a boss who simply doesn’t know how to utilize your skills properly, an ineffective manager is a difficult scenario to handle. However, like anything else, there is a point at which you must draw the line.

Specific things to look out for when dealing with difficult bosses and management are:

  • You feel unhappy, annoyed, weary, and unmotivated because of your boss
  • You feel that your boss is intentionally intimidating
  • Your boss never gives positive feedback and you feel unsupported in your work

If any of these applies, it is a good idea to look for ways to rectify the situation.

How can you deal with bad management? In most cases, simply quitting your job is not feasible and far from the best option. “Managing up” is a term used to describe the process of empowering yourself at work and can serve as a way to limit the shortcomings of your boss.

Some ways to overcome ineffective leadership:

  • Understand your relationship with your manager. It is very important to understand where the problems lie. Look to yourself as well as to your manager to find ways you both can improve your interactions. You also must be as objective as possible. Observe interactions between your manager and your co-workers to see if others have the same issues.
  • Accept your manager’s style. Bear in mind that you cannot expect your manager to adjust his or her style for your benefit (whether it is right or wrong). In such cases, adjust yourself as much as possible to be able to handle difficult situations. This, of course, does not mean that you should tolerate abusive behavior, but the more annoyances and minor negatives you can handle, the better your work life will be.
  • Do not take it personal. In many cases, inept management has nothing to do with the individual employees. For whatever reason, a manager is the way he or she is and it is not something that you should hold yourself responsible for.
  • Do your job. It seems obvious, but when dealing with an ineffective manager, you may forget about the job you are supposed to be doing. Avoid spending time dwelling on negative feelings and simply complete your assigned tasks.

Remember that the concept of a productive team does not just apply to your co-workers, but to managers as well. Since a manager is your superior, you may not be able to approach one’s ineptitude the way you would a co-worker’s. However, with the right attitude and a good approach, there are ways to empower yourself and overcome ineffective leadership.

7 Bad Habits of Highly Ineffective Leaders