One way to be happy (or happier) is to operate in the workplace at a higher level of competence and effectiveness. Performing at our best is a great source of pleasure. Performing at our worst is, well, just ask Dilbert.
The comic strip featuring that forlorn character and his experiences of workplace incompetence is said to be the most photocopied, downloaded, faxed, and emailed in the world. Obviously, people are well aware of the pervasiveness of the problem. At least the comic strip’s ridicule of such incompetence blunts the misery a bit.
Incompetence involves, as one writer put it, “a positive genius for selecting the wrong approach to a given problem.” Yet being incompetent or acting stupidly are not inborn tendencies or weaknesses. We humans are plenty smart enough. The problem stems from unresolved psychological conflicts that limit and impair our creativity and intelligence.
These conflicts soak up a lot of our mental processing. The processing is used counter-productively to generate rationalizations, denials, and other defenses. It’s ironic, but through unconscious, self-defeating processes we are quite efficient at producing inefficiency. Dilbert would love it! [Read more…]