Hey "A" – You emailed me a question, but then your email address did not work. So here is a sanitized version of your question and my response. Moral: Yes, I do return emails, but please make sure you give me correct contact info!
My immediate supervisor is __ year old single woman, who recently completed a degree in _____. She has attempted several self-employed stints as a management consultant and massage therapist. She has been a Team Leader with my employer for a few years. She has told me that this job is currently the only "real job" she has ever held. To me, if asked to describe her in general terms, I would use the word "prissy".
The reason I am writing is I am getting very frustrated with her treatment of me. She makes very great use of the Socratic Coaching method, despite my request she not do so. I have tried to explain to her that I find it patronizing and manipulative. Our organization bases all of its coaching on this believing it is the best way to get employee buy-in. I am starting to have more trouble with her and have recently begun simply not to interact if I can, and avoid as much as possible telling her what I am doing at work each day. She has told others that I am require too much direction and that I am imposing on her for reassurance. I will accept criticism that I have been seeking reassurance but am truly astounded that she feels I need constant direction as that is not my read of this situation at all.
I am at wits end on this. I have always felt that the best thing to do is either adapt to the way a company does business, or accept the fact that you probably don’t fit, and move on. Is this my best choice, or is there some way I can sit down with my supervisor and work through some of this? My biggest problem is that I feel unrespected. She says that I am a peer but does not act that way. For example, I feel she quickly dismisses dissent as based on my not understanding something, or narrow mindedness on my part. I accept that I am contributing to things, but know from past life experience that there really is never such a thing as a "one-sided problem".
What I would like is acknowledgment from her of the validity of my previous life and work experience and acceptance of the fact that she needs to change her approach in coaching me. I wanted to feel valued and that I am truly trusted. Any advice that you feel might be useful would be welcome. I hope I have given you enough information. I really don’t want to quit, but I understand that may be my only real choice.
I don’t think she is really using the Socratic Method because this should not feel patronizing or manipulative. Genuine curiosity and inclusion never is.