Due to a combination of bad decision making and too much trust in people’s potential, teams and organizations often end up with a stupid boss in charge. It’s not uncommon for them to exist even in reputable corporations, which take pride in the quality of their management.
A stupid boss is a person in a managerial position who does not have the level of intelligence required to do their job well. They have trouble understanding intricate realities, they can’t follow complex logic with more than two variables involved, and they simply don’t get it.
Handling a stupid boos takes, in my view, a special set of people skills. It also requires using intelligence to combat unintelligence. Here are the most important ways to handle a stupid boss.
1. Intimidate them with your intelligence
If you prove a stupid boss that you’re simply smarter than they are, they will often feel a bit threatened and try to sabotage you. However, if you prove them that you’re a lot more intelligent than they are, than they will be really afraid to mess with you. Who knows what you can do to them and their comfortable managerial position?
Do not hesitate to use various opportunities and prove a stupid boss that you are so smart you’re out of their league. Use big words and intricate reasoning when talking with them, and act like this is the standard for you.
2. Do it your way, and then explain yourself using complex logic
The big problem with a stupid boss is that they’ll often make stupid decisions and then ask you to implement them. When this happens, say you’ll do things according to their decision, and then do them according to yours.
When your boss asks you why you’ve disobeyed them, explain yourself using words and logic that are above them. Say something like: “I was backtracking my steps on the CRM process and I realized a divergent approach with this report would emphasize the project’s collateral benefits in terms of ROI.”
Then watch them stare blankly at you. They have no idea what you said, but they don’t want to look stupid either, so they won’t acknowledge this. Vanity is common in stupid people. They’ll probably just say: “Aaa, OK. Well next time, do things like I tell you to”. Agree, then next time repeat the same process.
3. Appeal to their emotions
Since a stupid boss is not able to follow complex logic, it is often best to push their emotional buttons in order to influence their decisions. When you propose them the implementation of a certain project, don’t bother to try and persuade them with arguments.
Instead, tell them something like this: “I went to talk to Tim (your boss’s boss) about this project and he thinks it’s a great idea.” If it’s important for your boss to please Tim, that’s all you’ll need to convince them.
4. Use simple logic, simple words
If you truly feel the need to convince a stupid boss using logic, facts and arguments, then strip them to their bare essentials before using them. It’s a reflection of malleability and good people skills. Imagine you’re talking with a caveman who is not familiar with big words and advanced logic: “This… line; this… circle”.
Simplicity is king when trying to persuade a stupid boss. Try anything above that and you’ll lose them. Then all you’ll hear from them is: “I don’t find your arguments compelling enough” (translation: “I have no clue what you’re talking about”).
Last but not least, keep in mind that no matter how good your people skills for dealing with a stupid boss are, it’s always better to deal with a smart one instead. So if you often find yourself needing to trick your boss using your superior brainpower in order to get your way, maybe it’s time to look for another job.
Image courtesy of Arno & Louise Wildlife