Sometimes, perhaps often, we are weary of other people’s incompetence.  Those being the colleagues, providers, customers or managers that populate our “professional” life.  The bitterness or despair induced by incompetence may very well block our own accomplishments.  When we are the managers, we cannot ignore the reality that the incompetence of the subordinated team is equivalent with the manager’s incompetence.

There are many resolution alternatives depending on the depth and impact of the incompetence, the time available to correct and the will of both the manager and the author to solve the problem decisively.

First one must analyze the type and impact of the incompetence.  Its reason is will or might?  Is it grave or just annoying?  Is it frequent or it just happens under certain external conditions?  Does it influence directly other people’s performance?

The next step is discussing with the person under examination.  The famous sandwich feedback may have though many layers dedicated to clarifying the position, motives, circumstances and commitment to solve the problem.  Surprises may be considerable especially if the evaluator really opens the objective listening channels.

Finally there are the action alternatives.  Should he be reallocated in a suitable position or at least in one to minimize the impact?  Should he be sent to training in order to fix the issue of knowledge?  Should he be assigned next to a master to learn on the job?  Should he be granted understanding if the reasons are personal (health or family issues)?  Should he be closely monitored to check the consistency of the solution?  Or … should he be temporarily or permanently punished by dismissal?

There are no alternatives without risks or costs attached.  There are no immediate or guaranteed solutions.  It is up to the manager to decide which alternative is the best compromise.  With calm, wisdom and pragmatism.