Although working for an insecure supervisor isn’t your fault, it is your problem. If you want to survive unscathed, you have to handle things differently.
First, don’t let your dismissive supervisor demoralize you. Her views don’t accurately reflect your talent and skills and you need to remind yourself that you have value regardless of whether she appreciates it.
Second, don’t let “no-BS” become a justification for negative, judgmental comments. You can combine honesty and diplomacy if you learn to speak in terms of improvements rather than criticisms. When you need to challenge your supervisor, do it in a positive manner and not one that questions her authority. Don’t challenge her in others’ presence. Give your supervisor respect even if she doesn’t deserve it because your respect reflects on you as much as it does on her.
When you work for an insecure supervisor, you may feel frustrated daily. Find productive ways to manage your frustration and don’t let yourself become passive-aggressive. Don’t let yourself voice frustrations, negative thoughts or critical assessments of your supervisor to or with others. If you do, what you say invariably comes back full-circle into your supervisor’s ears and bites you. If others voice negative comments, redirect the conversation or tell them you’re not comfortable with bad-mouthing your supervisor as you have to work with her.
Instead, find a creative way of letting your senior management gain a true picture of your supervisor’s deficiencies. For example, you might suggest that they conduct 360-degree reviews on all department managers. A 360-review provides employees a confidential forum for voicing their views about their supervisors.
Finally, while your supervisor impacts your career at your current company, if you leave, you escape her reign. Are you sure it’s in your best interest to stay in your current job and company?
Lynne Curry writes a weekly column on workplace issues. She is the author of “Solutions” and “Beating the Workplace Bully” and Regional Director of Training & Business Consulting for Avitus Group, formerly The Growth Company. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter @lynnecurry10 or at http://www.workplacecoachblog.com.