Strained relationship

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dfling
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 2:20 pm

Strained relationship

Post by dfling » Sun May 24, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi everyone

I'm just coming here for guidance (in case anyone has any!) on a difficult dynamic at work.

I work as an AP in an older adult service within a large team. I've loved the experience and working with client groups. I'm starting training this year and it's been invaluable experience.

One thing I have found incredibly difficult is my relationship with my manager. I guess to provide some concrete examples: I'm alerted to any mistakes I've made via email, with other members of the team CC'd. My manager often rolls her eyes at me or yawns during team meetings (when I do have the confidence to speak up, that is). I recently found out she has edited some of my documentation without letting me know. My manager is also a CP.

I've raised this in supervision as it was starting to upset me a great deal. My supervisor encouraged me to speak to her directly, and for a while things were better. They've since returned to the same old ways, sadly.

My question for others out there is what they've done in similar situations? I know I'm not the only person in the team who has been treated, shall we say, less than desirably. I don't particularly want to keep my head down til this goes away with a new course in September.

Does anyone have any advice or thoughts?

boayg
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 12:25 pm

Re: Strained relationship

Post by boayg » Sun May 31, 2020 2:31 pm

Sorry about this unpleasant experience, and no employee should feel undesired or ridiculed in any way.

Just to get a bit more context (no pressure in needing to disclose further), what sort of mistakes has your manager emailed you about that led her needing to cc others in the team? It would be less targeting and blaming if the email doesn’t pinpoint anyone specifically and that it’s about mistakes that everyone is made aware and learn from. Sounds like it’s understandably affecting your morale.

You mentioned that other members of the team experienced similar - is this coming from the same manager? If so, I’m sure you’ve already spoken to them about what they’ve done. If not, and if they’re still working in the team, perhaps speak to them about their thoughts and what options are appropriate in addressing the issue.

Very brave of you to speak directly to the manager about this issues as I‘m sure it was not an easy conversation. And sorry that things went back to square one after a period of feeling it’s somewhat resolved.

I guess you can continue to speak to your supervisor about it explaining the issue has not improved, and see what else can be advised.

This is more of a personal reflection and this is in no way judging your approach and work ethic, and you might have already considered this next point. What might the manager’s rationale be in all of this, and what other ways have you tried to minimise these situations?

With the manager rolling her eyes and yawning in team meetings - as long as you’re confident with your views that’s in line with your values and in the best interest of other’s wellbeing and learning, take no notice of her reactions. I totally appreciate that it causes frustration and discomfort, particularly it’s a CP that you respect as a junior, don’t let that stop you staying true to yourself. You’re starting a course in September like you said, I hope other places will appreciate you and fits your personality.

In our lifetime, all of us will or have already come across difficult peers, supervisors, and managers. Above all, these experiences are valuable in dealing with other challenging issues in the future, and helping us grow.


If all fails - speak to her manager, or liaise with your HR department if it’s getting too much. Make sure you’re aware of the organisation’s protocol by reading their policy.

Hope this helps, definitely not easy to be exposed to this at work!

dfling
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 2:20 pm

Re: Strained relationship

Post by dfling » Sun May 31, 2020 3:13 pm

Hi boayg

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful reply.

The mistakes have related to documenting procedures and communicating with other team members within certain time frames. Thankfully this error wasn't in relation to risk or anything serious. I don't mean to underplay the mistake and I certainly don't think I shouldn't be told if something is subpar. I think pointing this out to me was understandable and necessary, but the manner in which it was done came across very much as a "shame on you" tactic. I am someone who probably values face to face feedback more highly, as tone and intention can be more difficult via email.

Unfortunately my supervisor has now moved on to another role, and there is no intermediate CP between us any longer. Its a shame because I'd really appreciate for guidance around this from a more senior team member, who isn't the manager in question.

I think part of her rationale is probably to help me learn, and partly to make sure the psychology team looks good and competent to the rest of the MDT. But I also wonder what happened to her along her own career to make what appear to be non-life-threatening, or risk-related, mistakes to warrant such punitive approaches.

The problem is that I want to learn and develop, but often feel so defeated and worn down that it makes it extra hard. This has definitely been a big learning process though, and has given me more of a sense of the practitioner I hope to be, particularly when I eventually supervise and manage other team members.

Thanks again for your thoughts, very helpful stuff to reflect on.

Fairytale
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: Strained relationship

Post by Fairytale » Sun May 31, 2020 11:44 pm

Hi dfling.


So sorry to hear that your manager is making work stressful. This would make me very anxious as an AP and difficult to put my guard down if small 'mistakes' are constantly getting thrown in my face. I am not sure how this is affecting you at an emotional level. but I really hope that you have supportive peers at work.

Often when we are belittled/undermined and not treated with the respect we deserve, we can internalise the issues and feel as though what we are doing is not good enough. But, I am sure that those 'mistakes' would not get highlighted in the same way had you been working in a different service or had a different manager. So please try to remember this and be kind to yourself.

Hopefully this won't affect your confidence on training? How wonderful that you now know what kind of supervisor/manager you don't want to be! Even this alone will make you a good clinical psychologist. Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to remember to be human and kind to others.

dfling
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 2:20 pm

Re: Strained relationship

Post by dfling » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:15 pm

Fairytale wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 11:44 pm
Hi dfling.


So sorry to hear that your manager is making work stressful. This would make me very anxious as an AP and difficult to put my guard down if small 'mistakes' are constantly getting thrown in my face. I am not sure how this is affecting you at an emotional level. but I really hope that you have supportive peers at work.

Often when we are belittled/undermined and not treated with the respect we deserve, we can internalise the issues and feel as though what we are doing is not good enough. But, I am sure that those 'mistakes' would not get highlighted in the same way had you been working in a different service or had a different manager. So please try to remember this and be kind to yourself.

Hopefully this won't affect your confidence on training? How wonderful that you now know what kind of supervisor/manager you don't want to be! Even this alone will make you a good clinical psychologist. Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to remember to be human and kind to others.
Thank you for your thoughts, Fairytale! This really started to affect me a few months ago, to the point where I was literally losing sleep and feeling like I couldn't come to work. I realised I couldn't continue like that, and that's when I raised it with my supervisor.

And that's true about the actual highlighting of mistakes - I have been lucky enough to work in many other supportive environments with CPs, and have had some fantastic, professional relationships with supervisors. It dented my confidence initially, but in the long run I believe it has helped with resilience and preparation for training.

Totally agree about being human and kind. I feel that's more important than ever in the climate we work in! Thanks again for replying to this post - much appreciated

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