How To Deal With An Incompetent Worker Who Thinks He Is Smart

2021-02-15   |   by CusiGO

Unlike employees with impostor syndrome (who never feel good enough about their work), others believe that they are smart when their performance is actually inadequate, or at best normal. They don’t realize their limitations, it’s hard to admit their mistakes and think they never need help to do a good job. This cognitive bias is related to the mismatch of employees’ views on themselves. Psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger of the Department of psychology at Cornell University in New York first discovered the syndrome in four studies conducted in the 1990s. Since then, it has been known as the Dunning Kruger effect.

Their results, published in the journal Personality and social psychology, show that the more incompetent a person is, the less aware he is of himself. On the contrary, the most competent and skilled workers, paradoxically, tend to underestimate their skills.

In short, the most incompetent people are less aware of their own clumsiness and often unable to recognize the abilities of others. This idea is consistent with the experience of ELISA Sanchez, a professional psychologist who has been teaching courses to develop skills such as public speaking for many years. “It’s something I’ve been observing for a long time. Those who get the worst treatment have a more self-sufficient, arrogant and overconfident attitude. They don’t know what they’ve done wrong, even if it’s obvious, like stuttering, “Sanchez explains. “But not only that, when it’s their turn to evaluate other teammates who are better than them, they are also very injured. They don’t see the merit of others. ”

The root of the problem

It is difficult for people affected by this bias to objectively assess their abilities: their main problem is a lack of self-awareness. They usually have a distorted self-image, at least in the field of work. “What they perceive doesn’t match what people around them see,” Sanchez explained.

Sometimes they don’t see their limitations, sometimes they don’t want to see them. Their insecurity leads them to deny or reject things they don’t want to accept because they feel pain or dislike. It’s like the one who doesn’t notice his stammer when speaking in public. For example, Sanchez said, “people are also afraid of what others see and judge. If I don’t say it, if I deny it, if I act as if I did it right, maybe others won’t realize what I did wrong.”.

In addition to this cocktail, there are also personality traits that can affect it, such as narcissism and self-esteem. This is a biting fish, because in order to have a healthy self-esteem, it is very important to have an accurate understanding of their own virtues and limitations. This situation directly affects the work of the team and the performance of employees. Workers who don’t know their limitations often undertake more tasks than they can accomplish, They don’t know how much time it’s going to take, and they don’t plan realistically, “which leads to poor performance and unfulfilled deadlines. “It puts a burden on others, creates stress and conflict,” Sanchez said. “You can’t look anywhere else. A worker without self-awareness is very dangerous, far more than a person without motivation. ”

Habitual difficulties

Many leaders find themselves in the position of leading a person who has suffered from such difficulties. In fact, Liz kislik has been committed to helping organizations overcome obstacles in human resource management for the past 30 years, which she believes is “one of the most common and exhausting performance problems” in her career.

He agreed that the cost of avoiding the problem was too high. Kislik explained: “if the bosses don’t solve this problem, the work of the employees will not be improved, the organization will lose the value of a team member, and the team members can thrive with appropriate support.”. One consequence of the boss’s inaction is that other employees may think that “the leader seems to tolerate bad work and may lose motivation.”.

Bosses can help you by giving clear instructions and feedback, although to do so, they need to exercise their confidence, learn to communicate mistakes without hurting others, and praise others carefully. For an employee who has exaggerated his performance, praise can prove that everything he has done is excellent. “It’s better to link positive feedback to other things that the organization believes need to work to change,” kislik suggests.

Suggestions also include assessing the person as objectively as possible so that he / she does not feel that the correction is just another person’s opinion, but is based on data. “We need to present it in the most neutral and objective way to promote its learning and development,” Sanchez said.