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What If Your Supervisor Is After You?

By Edited May 11, 2015 2 2

Ever feel like your supervisor needs to box you in? And you know that she/he knows that you know? Well, here is a unique perspective. Don’t take this the wrong way.

Bad Supervisor

Supervisor emails you questioning an activity that you do during your work day.

Ok, so you feel micro-managed. Your creativity and interest in your job was involved in this activity and now authority is poking at it with a stick.

The normal tendency is to assume that they are only trying to make your life miserable. But I tell you, “Step back.”. Take a look at yourself and what you are doing. If you know it is the truth that you are out-of-line then change the way you think.

Fun At Work

Instead of thinking, “They are out to get me”, think, “They are good at what they do.”  This will change your entire perspective, demeanor and the supervisor will surely notice that. Once you open yourself to dialog with your supervisor where you are in the position of asking for advice from them out of genuine sincerity then good things will happen. You will experience they relax a bit.


Your supervisor walks through your area and later sends an email or calls you asking you to change something about the way you put stuff somewhere or asking you to clean / organize something.

The typical response would be, “Sheesh! Let me organize my stuff how I like it and stop poking your nose in my business.”

A better way would be to stop and think to yourself why it could actually be right to do it like the supervisor says. Or, if it is very absurd (because we have some pin-headed people out there) then you could think to yourself, “Is this battle worth misery?” Perhaps some changes wouldn’t be so haphazard to your existence after all. A respectful reply, “You are right and, although I might find it hard to change some habits, I will do your best.”, will go a long way.

You may even find that, after some compliance in a respectful manner, that they end up stepping way back.

If you have this mindset, and fix your thoughts on this whenever they lean towards the dark side, then you will relax and actually be able to confidently go about your business.


Your supervisor makes changes to the way you do things that really slows you down.

Normally people will get so pissed that they will end up creating a scene; especially when there is pressure to meet a certain deadline and you are slowed down by some new requirement. It is like steam in a pressure cooker which starts out slowly. Your thought will be, “My supervisor is totally a jerk and just being stubborn with something they enforced.”

Think otherwise. Your supervisor is dependent on you’re productivity. At least in a typical work place. When you don’t do well, then they will look bad . . . eventually. They know that and most sane people wouldn’t have pure motives of being a jerk. Instead, yes, they do have pride behind their new enforced idea and will probably be stubborn, not wanting to change it. 

asleep at computer

Your thought pattern here should be, “I need to educate this person with excellent, patient communication so they are enlightened.”

What you need to do here is to create some very nice looking charts, logs or other ways of presenting data. You will want to present the fact that something is slowing you down. Do not approach your supervisor at the wrong time, like first thing in the morning. Instead send them an email or talk to them asking to meet up and share something you discovered which could help the workflow. This will get you, hopefully, in a place where you can have a few minutes of their undivided attention.

Present your data in a way that does not imply you want to go back to the way it was before. Instead, present it in a way that builds off their change or adds a slightly altered way of the way it was before.

Final Notes:

If you don’t know what to do then go talk to some people you have confidence in. Not people that have trouble with the law, drug addicts, bad work history, etc, but talk to some people you esteem highly. You’ll find they might have some new perspective that will really help you out.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If authority wants to change some minor things then don’t make them major blowups. Instead find the positive and focus on that.

If you are experiencing a supervisor that absolutely will not stop making your life miserable no matter how humble, obedient and positive you are, then start looking for another job. Don’t quit your job first before securing another job. Understand that they are taking something out on you and their life is probably a huge wreck anyway.

If you have a long track record of complications with supervisors then you need to re-evaluate your career cycle. Perhaps you might want to start your own business? No one needs such stress and it is very bad for your health.

The most important thing to do is to esteem your supervisor and let them feel that.

Make yourself think different and you will act different.



Jun 1, 2014 11:53pm
You're right of course. But talking about doing it the right way is a lot harder than actually doing it. I admire people who have the skills to handle things the way they should be handled. But it's hard, real hard.

Thanks for a good read,
Jun 2, 2014 9:45pm
Nice article. I've had good bosses and bad bosses. Usually the good ones get promoted and the bad ones don't last. I can control what I do and how I react to circumstances.
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