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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Posted by Anonymous on
11/20/2008 at 10:08 AM ET
Not exactly a marketing question.......but I'm a recent graduate working in the marketing department of a small company.
I like the company but my supervisor is possibly the most mean hearted person I have ever worked with. She's very condescending towards me, sneaks insults into conversation, places blame on me for not meeting deadlines when the ball was left in her court, and I do not feel that I am benefitting from working with her.
I'm not gaining or improving skills and have found myself really just trying to avoid her as much as I can. She's even gone as far to tell me that I am not allowed to contact others in the company without her consent and approval.
She is constantly telling me that I don't understand or I'm not getting it but then excludes from meeting that would help me 'get it'. She doesnt even take the initiative to tell me what I'm doing wrong. I feel like she's just doing it to 'keep me in my place'. I'm at a loss of what to do at this point. Have you ever dealt with this?
11/20/2008 at 10:20 AM
Unfortunately situations like this are not as uncommon as you might think. Sounds like your supervisor is either inexperienced or has been trained in the old management model of control and fear.
Short of leaving to find a better situation and assuming you are not alone in being dealt with this way here are some thoughts:
- find someone with longer tenure who works or has worked in the past for this supervisor. Did they find similar things happening? How did they deal with it?
- what are your supervisors expectations? Do you know in detail what your key performance indicators (what you are going to be judged on) are?
- if she is prone to passing the buck, hate to say it but make sure you cover your butt just in case things get ugly. After she has outlined what needs to be done and you have agreed what she needs to do to help you do that confirm it in an email with dates for completion etc.
- if she is being insulting then you need to call her on it. Tell her that you do not feel that is necessary and you do not appreicate it.
- start networking internally to find another position working for a leader not an unconscious incompetent.
Just my toonies worth - good luck
11/20/2008 at 10:32 AM
I'm going to rattle a few cages here, but while most of us feel the best person should always get the job (regardless of race, gender) some people indeed get a job because of diversity initiatives. There, I said it.
Those are often the people who aggressively push their authority to avoid having someone question their ability. True leaders (or managers....they are not the same) don't have a problem with questions and seek to help their employees grow.
Time to LEAVE.
11/20/2008 at 10:38 AM
unfortunately, I have worked for such people. But, dont give up hope. There is a way to work around the issue.
Ask your supervisor for a meeting to "help you improve your ability to work to her expectations". Bring along a legal pad and pen armed to take copious notes. Come prepared with the areas you have had issues with her on.
Now here is the part that worked well for me early in my career. Ask them for specific direction. For instance, in my case my boss said, I was disorganized. I asked for specifics on what I could do to improve. Here is a short version of a two page list:
Paperwork done by Monday at 10:00AM
Monthly reports turned in by the 3rd of the month
All reports to have comments on them even if I didnt feel I had anything specific to add - write something
and here were the kickers
Wear a wrist watch - he didnt like my pocket watch
Wear fitted shirts - I never understood this
Wear wingtip shoes - yeah it was a long time ago
I made sure every comment was something that was measurable and not something like "be organized".
I typed the list and sent it to him with a not saying I was committed to following his direction. When he brought up something new, I always said we should meet to get the specifics down.
With this boss, I had a communications breakdown. Once we communicated we grew to be friends and have been for over 25 years.
With another boss, I found he could not and would not be nailed to specifics. It turned out he was a psycopath, I quickly found another job. He went on to be recognized for what he was and was downsized.
Good luck, dont give up on yourself...
11/20/2008 at 11:15 AM
Either your boss is afraid of your knowledge and does not want her own boss to learn about your capabilities or frankly there is no chemistry between both of you. In either case you have these options:
a) Sit down and discuss with her what is happening and your feeling about it and the whys of her attitude. If no change comes consider b) Talking to her own boss about the situation.
If she really considers you as an asset she would change her own behaviour toward you otherwise she would remain untouched. In the second case expect a reaction from her if your boss ever considers informing her about the situation. My best advise is to start making contacts elsewhere just in case you have to leave. It could be a not win situation for you.
11/20/2008 at 6:10 PM
I am sorry you are dealing with this.... it is a too common issue. Companies often lose good people over bad bosses. You could ask HR or her boss for suggestions on how to better work together, but looking for a new job while you keep trying to improve the situation might be the best option. Many bosses are just not willing or interested in nurturing their staff. On a positive note, your next boss will likely be much better!
11/21/2008 at 3:44 AM
your situation is not unusual. It can happen to anyone. Mean boss does exist in real life. There can be many reason why your boss is acting that way. Maybe she does not have the knowledge, skills or capabilitities to handle people and be a leader. Or she feels threatened that you are more capable than her or she simply do not like your personality. Whatever the reason may be, I guess its a smart move to sit down with your boss and ask her directly how will you be able to improve your job. If things still do not work out, I suggest you ask your HR to transfer you or look for another job.
If you feel that you are not having any growth in the company, you must look for other jobs that will atleast make you grow as a person and as an employee. And always remember that you know yourself better than your boss, if ever she insults you and downgrade you, never take it too much because the last thing you would like to garner from your work is losing your trust to your self and to your own capabilities. Best of luck!
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