What does incompetent mean?

Incompetent: Insult or Correct?

It's a phrase that nobody likes to hear: You are incompetent ... Whether from a customer, colleague or even the boss personally. In the professional world it is Assumption of incompetence a bitter blow that calls into question the entire qualification, leads to self-doubt in many and anger in others. Nobody wants to accept such a claim. The question is: You are right to feel offendedwhen someone calls you incompetent - or is that even true? Please don't get this wrong! It's not about accusing you of incompetence. Rather, it is food for thought, how you can deal with such accusations and the resulting feelings. Even if it is difficult, it can quite positive be…

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Incompetent: what does that actually mean?

The boss is completely incompetent or The new colleague stands out mainly because he is incompetent. Statements like these are usually made in the workplace when the mood is bad and someone not satisfied with the performance of individuals is. There can be a specific trigger for the accusation of incompetence, but often it is more the overall impression that has established itself on a person.

When someone is labeled incompetent, the point is to criticize them, to say that they are not doing their job well and are falling short of expectations. True incompetence - if the accusation is actually meant so seriously and literally - it goes a bit further.

Incompetence denies someone any qualification in an area. Appropriate and frequent synonyms are incompetent, incapable, unsuitable or unqualified. So when you claim that a colleague or even the boss is incompetent, you are really saying: You are completely unsuitable for your job, The company should ask itself whether it doesn't want to fill the position differently and perhaps you should ask yourself whether your previous career was really suitable for you.

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Which triggers the feeling of incompetence in us

If you are labeled incompetent, it has to be digested first. Criticism is part of the job and most employees can handle it Accusation of incompetence However, it is far more than criticism and can be seen as a personal and professional attack.

He comes Accusation from the right person, for example directly from the boss, from an important customer or from a valued colleague, hardly anyone passes this without a trace. Although attempts are made not to show or downplay the effect, it is normal to feel hurt in one's professional and personal honor when faced with such abuse.

Are classic three reactionsthat are run through:

  • You want to justify yourself.

    The first impulse is always This is total nonsense, don't tell ‘such nonsense. I am more than competent, probably more than you ... If you are attacked you have an immediate urge to justify yourself. This is often paired with a counterattack in order to get revenge on the original blasphemy and to show him that you won't put up with everything.

  • They are Angry.

    After the first justification, anger and frustration spread. You realize what outrage it was to expose you and question your competence. This can lead to tangible disputes and arguments in which no friendships are exchanged.

  • You experience self-doubt.

    Nobody wants to admit it, but when others think you are incompetent, it seeds some self-doubt that can grow over time and become more serious problems. You start to wonder whether there is a spark of truth behind it or whether there are other people who think that way about you.

Anyone who addresses incompetence addresses their own competence

It is really easy to portray someone else as incompetent, to reveal their weaknesses and to point out what the other is doing wrong. Especially with increasing dissatisfaction, this is a valve to vent your frustration. Before you take this step, you should always be aware: As soon as the subject of incompetence comes up, always stand also focus on your own competence.

More precisely, it is about the questions: How is your competence actually doing? And what qualifies you to do soto decide about competent or incompetent employees and to demean them?

Hardly anyone is so perfect that there is not one or the other situation in their vita that they really screwed up and that quickly interpreted as incompetence could be.

Even if you have a good reason, and said colleague is genuinely incompetent to some extent, it would be better to choose another way of bringing up the subject. After all, everyone can sound great. You show true greatness when you don't blaspheme or complain, but rather Offer your helpstand by your side with help and advice if you have any questions and clarify the whole thing in private, if possible.

With such behavior you show that you are not only interested in badmouthing others and to feel better about yourself - and that shows your competence, both socially and professionally.

Incompetent: This is how you respond to the allegations

You can work on your own behavior, but you cannot prevent someone else from speaking to you about incompetence. Perhaps you don't like the way you work, perhaps you really made a mistake. Whatever the reason, you can control how you deal with the situation.

This does not have to happen through justification, anger and doubt as described above, but can be quite positive - if you can overcome yourself and the hostility as much as possible not personally, but professionally sporty see.

With the following tips respond correctlyif someone calls you incompetent:

  • Ask for a personal interview.

    Discussions and disagreements - including about competencies and skills - should no mud fights which are held in public. Look for a face-to-face conversation and stay calm as possible. That alone will take the wind out of the sails of your counterpart, because he expected his provocation to upset you and let you go to the ceiling.

  • Ask for.

    If the other person really accepts your invitation and does not back down (which can happen because it is easy to gossip and speak badly, but much more difficult to do so constructively and personally), you should take the chance. Ask how the Impression of incompetence has arisen and which decisions, actions or services were responsible for them.

    So you can quickly find out whether it was just ventilated frustration that you fell victim to, or whether there are actually reasonswhy the colleague thinks you are incompetent. Be sure to stay factual and thank you for the feedback. The pronunciation gives you the chance to go into more detail and, if necessary, to initiate steps for change.

  • Reflect again for yourself.

    With the knowledge from the conversation, you should reflect on the allegations and the reasons for yourself again with a little distance and in peace. Can you understand why you were found incompetent? See it the same way or were you satisfied with your services and decisions?

  • Learn from the situation.

    What you do with the findings is now up to you. If you find that there is good reason to doubt your competence, you should learn from it and work on it in the future to score with performance and quality of work. This quickly silences any complainant, no matter how energetic.

    But even if it only turns out to be loud roar with no real content you can draw your conclusions from it. You now know which colleague likes to be in the foreground, how they talk about others and willingly jeopardize their reputation. You're not supposed to resort to similar methods, but now you know who to trust.

  • Stop further allegations.

    In the end, of course, you have to do it yourself Don't just put up with accusations of incompetence, especially when this is repeated. Kindly ask the relevant colleague to refrain from doing this in the future and to contact you personally in the event of problems or differences of opinion. If that does not bring any improvement, all that remains is to go to the boss or to the HR department.

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