Did you ever wonder why your boss or the people above you are complete morons?

Have you ever met someone higher than you on the corporate ladder who has no clue what’s going on and has no apparent skills, yet somehow managed to get himself into a position of power at your company?

And how is it these people don’t even realize how inept they actually are?

Well, there IS an explanation.

It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Basically, the theory states that people who are ineffectual, be it at a single task or a full-blown process, lack the critical brain function to realize that they are incompetent, and therefore don’t take the necessary steps toward self-improvement.

In other words, people are so incompetent because they’re too incompetent to realize that they are so incompetent.

And you can quote me on that!

But fear not! There is hope for these people yet. If you actually sit one of these people down and show them the proper way to perform a task or handle a situation, they do come to realize that they may not be as proficient as they think.

So at least they can be shown where their shortcomings exist.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will change, but simply that they do have the capacity to realize they may not be as exceptional as they think.

The Dunning-Kruger effect also attempts to explain the flip side of the coin. People who are the best at what they do; the super-competent if you will, actually suffer from a lack of confidence.

Where non-competent workers completely overestimate their abilities, super-competent people tend to underestimate theirs.

And the main reason for this?

Researchers have found that super-competent people tend to think that what they can accomplish easily, everyone can accomplish easily.

Again though, once someone sits them down and explains it to them, they end up with a more accurate view of their aptitude.

So the key to accurate self reflection on both sides of the coin is feedback. If people simply talked more, they would have a better chance of analyzing their skills, or lack thereof.

A perfect example is women and science.

Science testing has shown that logical reasoning ability is the same in both men and women, yet there are WAY more men in the field than women.

Researchers now think that women who are good at science tend to underestimate their abilities far more often than men, and this causes the gender skew.

It is simply self-perception over reality.

So there you go.

In the meantime, feel free to tell your boss he’s a complete rumbugger and you’re surprised he hasn’t driven the company straight in to the fiery depths of hell with his lack of education, intelligence, and basic hygiene.

It worked for me.

Written by stevemargolis

11 Comments

Euni Rose

So how did you like being fired?!!! I am now watching the soccer match as you are barbequing for your lovely wife and your hilarious dad!!! Have a great time!!
Love,
your cousin!!!

Reply
Jason79

My manager has no idea what she is doing. Without us, she would be fired in 2 seconds. No one knows how she got the job either.

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Laurie

I have a manager who signs her own name to my work. I think about calling her out on this to management a lot.

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Keri

I can relate to the smart people underestimating their own abilities. I see that a lot on my team.

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DW3

I have a colleague who is completely out of it when it comes to what she knows and what she doesn’t know. Plus she won’t listen to anybody who tries to help her.

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Frootloops

Women are way worse than men. I hated working for female bosses and I’m female!

Reply
Stewie11

I enjoy putting these clueless know it alls in their place. 😛
I will get fired one day. I am sure of it. But vengeance will be mine!

Reply

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