I'm working w/ an SVP/Account who has zero trust in production & typical process. I am getting hardcore micromanaged and critiqued constantly in front of the full team at mtgs.-Continue in comments---

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Not sure you need daily one-on-ones with someone who’s as negative as this person sounds. Calling people out in front of a group doesn’t do anyone any good. Unfortunately, it’s part of this “reply all syndrome” that compels people to feel like they need to make themselves heard to everyone. But, yes, you have to have an honest conversation regardless of their ‘sensitivity’. The most important thing to do is to take the high road. YOU know what you’re doing (presumably) so you have to guide the project with a strong, confident hand - especially when dealing with people who know little about production. YOU know the process, so stay calm and self-assured in your approach and try to bring the team together with the value of your experience. You can explain to this person that as the Producer, one of your key concerns is making sure that the entire production is running in the best possible way it can and that you treat account people as partners not adversaries. So if there are any issues, “we should work them out together” for the better of the production. If this person isn’t open to working together or is just blind to your input/experience then it may be time to loop in your EP or HoP. Always better to handle it yourself but if you can’t get through to people, sometimes it’s the only thing you can do.

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Switch accounts. These people don't change, I promise.

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I would go to the one-on-ones and being extremely honest. People being extremely sensitive is out of our hands and responsibilities; we handle as best as we can our own stuff and we don’t expect people to deal with it for us. Also, bring up this plan to your supervisor so management is aware and there is a record of things trying to be improved for the sake of good work and good results. Transparency - and if within the next couple of months no improvement nor change whatsoever, then keep escalating and/or as for account transfer 😉

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Figure out a tactful way to say you feel like he/she’s undermining your ability show you are the expert in the room (when it comes to production) and therefore undermining your ability to gain/build trust with your team, and most importantly make them feel confident about the upcoming production. Make a comparison to you doing the same in front of the clients. If you constantly chimed in when they were discussing shit with the client they’d feel the same way you know? All that back and forth in front of the larger team can make people feel uneasy - like there’s no plan. I think your idea of a one on one is a good way. Just say hey can we table production related details for when the larger team isn’t in the room and then follow up in email with a solidified plan that we’ve reviewed together. Think that will work?

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I would also add to EP1 to document the shit out of it. Log everything, screen grab every instant message, and for the love of god, follow up your painful conversations with an email recap, even if it includes things like "as discussed, based on my experience, this is the production approach we've agreed is the best way forward" or whatever and make sure you've documented implications etc in a polite and professional manner. You're the expert. The rest of the team probably knows it, it's just her. the sad truth of it is that after all this pain, you'll probably find yourself thrown under the bus so protect yourself.

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Poison his tea

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OP I feel like you’re writing about someone I’ve worked with a few years ago. I tried everything I could think of (including much of what EP suggested) and nothing worked. She was also very sensitive, and just fundamentally didn’t get what I was saying or where I was coming from. It was like we were speaking different languages, or from completely different planets. It was really hard to admit to myself I’d failed. I saw other producers have the same issues with her on other accounts - she eventually destroyed the morale of even the most determined and optimistic people I knew. Eventually she left the company and we breathed a collective sigh of relief. I think you should do everything you can to make this work, and I think EP1’s advice was solid. It’s incredibly unlikely that this is actually the same person I worked with, and it’s very likely you will be able to work it out. But, if after trying everything you STILL can’t make it work with this person, don’t beat yourself up. Maybe try to switch to another account. Your team is a major factor in your happiness at work, and this just might not be a match.

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One other thing, if all of the genuinely excellent advice provided above doesnt work, try completely ignoring them. Sometimes trying to acknowledge a person’s position gives them a weird upper hand. If you ignore them it may strike a chord and cause them to try to figure you out. Just a “mean girls”, last resort option.

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Highly recommend Harvard Business School’s “office politics.” Get it and figure out which type of person you are dealing with. This initially reads as a power struggle to me. Usually confronting these types of situations and taking your power back can help alleviate issues. Just make sure f you do it you do it in a neutral place

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Executive Producer 1 I would like to work with you. Do you have any open hires?

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It is impacting my ability to do my best work and be my best self. I am getting some major anxiety.... This person comes from a different background (PR) and has no/little advertising experience. While they're great with the client and in their ability to gain the clients trust, internally there is a lot of negative energy and bad vibes. I need to nip this in the butt. Quickly. What do you suggest? I would prefer her to criticize me or my process outside of our team meetings. Would like to suggest daily one-on-ones with this person? Would love any other thoughts. Should I have an honest conversation? This person is VERY SENSITIVE, so when I've tried to do so in the past it doesn't go over well. Help me. I'm dying.

That's fucked up. You should definitely tell your pen boss though. Sounds like the account woman sees you as junior to her and doesn't respect your expertise. I'm not sure confronting her directly further will bring you any gains if she's defensive. That's the worst. She's taking her own insecurities out on you.

your *own

“We can definitely take a look at that” Beat them at their own game. Publish, and republish your schedules every time they make a decision that impacts it. Show the potential financial impact of their opinions. And when all is said and done, this line usually works best: “If you truly feel that is best for the campaign, please feel free to confirm with the creative team and then ask the client for more money."

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