The moment things do not go the way they should, we all experience discomfort. Yet, the intensity of our reaction varies… Some people take it easy and look for excuses, some find a polite way of complaining or filing a report, and some just explode as they refuse to tolerate incompetence.
But before we get into the discussion of what the proper response should be, we have to determine what incompetence is in the most basic of definitions. I guess we can all agree that incompetence has to do with a rudimentary lack of… competence: results are not delivered in time, the circumstances become unfavorable, and qualified people start seeking alternatives… In other words, incompetence is an Anomaly.
In regards to You, this may also mean that in moments when you should shine, you disappeared… in situations ideal for your talents to manifest themselves, you were nowhere to be found… and as a qualified expert, you failed to demonstrate why you were hired and pampered for your expertise via an often extravagant contract.
What should the ideal reaction be? One of tolerance, or one of intolerance? If I had anything to say about it, I would simply ask why is there a dilemma about it in the first place… For there is no greater evil in today’s advanced societies than the plague of acceptable incompetence. Any negative score, any kind of under-performance that becomes acceptable is nothing more than a perfectly normal expectation not met which is then excused and justified. Simplest of examples: you go to a car dealer, and he/she is too bored to bother, way too uninformed about the products, and lousy in negotiating a mutually good deal… How should you tolerate or describe such an experience?
I will tell you: you should walk away, and remain unconvinced about a possible come-back regardless of attractive offers or discounts in the follow-up calls. How come? Obviously, because the competence you would expect of someone in that position, was not there. This simple fact shutters trust, confidence, and above all Continuity since every time someone messes up and lowers his/her performance within an industry, he/she lowers the overall standards as well. The very structure of the industry we all serve gets compromised as a long-term result and clients become fickle. Hire all the social media experts, buy the best adds campaign and rely on marketing techniques… it will not save your business or your relationships! You should be doing these ‘On Top’ of what your audience expects from you in the first place: your job!
The core issue here, however, is none other than ‘compromise’. A curse of our time and age, ‘compromise’ certainly includes the practice of excusing someone for NOT doing what he/she is entirely capable/paid/expected to do, as well as identifying his/her shortcomings with our own… And once you do this, everybody can be excused in a second about Anything, Anywhere.
Perhaps our egos got misplaced, and instead of taking pride in what we DO, we keep excusing ourselves for unreasonable shortcomings… If this is the case, we have to ask ourselves whether we do justice to our magnificent world by evaluating global competence through our weak standards. And then, contemplate on whether you are doing yourself any good…