This employee disease was only discovered in 1999 by psychologists at Cornell. They studied people’s self confidence even when employees had no idea what they were doing. In one study, 42% of employees reported that their productivity was in the top 5%!
The Vaccination Approach
They found that we all have blind spots where we are less capable than we assume. Most of us don’t go for radical treatment. We accept some professional development or read an occasional article. It’s like a vaccination so that we don’t fall hopelessly behind at work.
The real cure is prevention. If you develop a love for learning, you will self correct your blind spot by listening to the insights of others. Warren Buffet told a graduating class of MBAs that they would not accept his best advice – read continuously every day.
The Terminally Stupid
Sadly, there are some employees who glory in their inability. They confidently break every process that they encounter because they are so sure that they’re right. I’ve had such a staff member and wondered if I was wrong instead of them. They are so confident!
If you have inherited some long term Dunning Kruger, it can be a serious impediment to turn around or scale the company. Don’t delay treatment.
Healthy people decisions have the most impact on any company and getting rid of Dunning Kruger is critical to health.