I have a supervisor who nitpicks things the way you would for an intern or a junior and I’m trying to navigate.

I had a positive 6 month review recently so I think she sees it as constructive rather than cutting me down. For example, she will ask me to attend a meeting in her stead or write an email for her and she will completely edit my notes or my email not spelling errors or anything but completely reformatting and there’s no real pattern to the way she does it so I’m not learning. Cont’d

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She will ask me to practice re writing emails to her in Slack to be more dry. I’ve NEVER had this problem in 4 previous roles. I was client facing and had a great hallway reputation. I’m now client side. I try to take her feedback and find a pattern to learn from it, but it keeps happening. She hasn’t flagged it as something that upsets or concerns her. It makes me feel crazy though. Every time she reformats my notes it cuts me down. I’m trying to figure out how to gently say this to her so she can provide more constructive high level feedback appropriate to my skill level. I can’t tell if she’s truly alarmed with the way I take notes and write emails or if this is something she does as a nervous tick or to feel like she’s managing. Please help me - this was my dream job and now it’s making me crazy.

She seems like a control freak. Can you just take an extra 30 minutes to do things “her way” to put a stop to it?

It is very exhausting. Trying to train my brain not to react with a fight or flight response every time she does it or let myself feel incompetent. We do have an HR consultant that you can chat with for help with workplace dynamics and I’ve thought about reaching out to her for strategies to help but I don’t want to make it into a big thing with HR.

I think it’s fair to say that you recognize she is looking for something more from you but her way of feedback and coaching isn’t helping. Ask her to be more explicit about the issues she’s having under the guise of you being proactive about improving. Manage up, don’t tattle on her unless you’re asked to review her.

Ugh I had this happen with a previous boss and there was no patten. She gave me edits that were literally a reorder of my bullet points or changing one word but she would make it seem like I did a bad job & she had to go out of her away to make it better for the clients. I end up leaving the job because of her. It was toxic. I should’ve stood up for myself and I recommend having a convo with her. She’s putting her stress & insecurities on you

You have to find a way to bring it up to her early on or it will just build, as will your resentment. She may be super stressed and trying to control things is her way of coping? Can you offer help in some other larger capacity to redirect her focus from these nit picky things?

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