My Manager Humiliates Me Publicly For Minuscule Issues: Mentor Centre

Posted: September 24, 2019

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A woman is facing issues with her manager who seems to have taken a grudge against her going as far as humiliating her. How do you deal with this situation? 

Mentor Centre is a Women’s Web initiative where you get to ask your career queries and we get you thoughtful responses from leading women in industry. If you have a question, ask away!

Here’s what you asked us:

I recently started working at an MNC as a part of a ten-member team. I mostly deal with the foreign language aspect of it and am also helping develop guidelines for the content we review.

When I began working, my manager was pretty decent to us, as team. But in time, she started behaving in a very moody and unprofessional way. Her behaviour became even worse when a new member joined a team. Since then, the manager has been quite rude and extremely unprofessional. She speaks down to us while also taunting us about our speed.

We are being given unattainable targets, and when they aren’t completed, we get reprimanded like school children. If a task takes too long to be completed owing to its difficulty, she will often humiliate us in front of the team. All this behaviour of hers is only directed towards four people from the team.

Meanwhile, I did speak to the higher manager during a monthly meet but that still hasn’t helped.

I was hoping to get some suggestions from you.

– Ashlesha Kamra, Language Trainer at an MNC

And Usha Pillai responded:

There are several reasons as to why your manager is behaving the way she is right now which seems to be in contrast with how she was when you first joined the team. To me, right away it seems that she is under tremendous pressure from different quarters – could be both personal and professional.

When women are not able to say ‘No’ to requirements on both fronts they come under undue stress which makes them behave  in an aggressive manner or even passively in some cases. It is probable that she has had some massive change on the personal front for which she was not prepared and professionally – her KRAs could be more loaded with inadequate resources. Having said all this let us see how you can handle it in a way which can be a win-win for both of you.

Firstly I would suggest that you gather data on instances (approximately 4-5) where you feel the behaviour impacts the inter personal relationship between you and her and therefore your deliverables.

  • when did the instance occur (date, time), – what was it about, – who were all present, – who got impacted
  • how did make you feel (angry, upset, frustrated, let down etc) – this is an important step
  • What conclusion did it you arrive at

Then fix up a one to one meeting with her – you can give the context that you would like to discuss something which is affecting your work performance.

  • Start first by saying what is positive about your job, the company, what you feel about her leadership skills when you first joined the team etc – people are more open to ‘negative’ feedback when they feel positive about themselves.
  • Then cite the instances on which you have data/information (remember to include the data, your feelings, conclusion) – try not to make it generic or on other’s behalf. These should be instances where you were impacted.
  • Next  ask her what does she feel about the feedback
  • Finally emphasise that to move ahead to meet organisational goals how important it is for you to have the right direction and frame of mind.
  • Ensure that there is a call to action at the end of the session – what you can do and what support you seek from her

Picture credits: Pexels

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Usha Pillai, Chief Consultant, AVTAR Group, has over 28 years of experience in ensuring profitability through efficient operations and direct sales, data center operations, client management, user training, customer care management, procurement, installation and Infrastructure planning. Her experience spans several industries which include IT education, Telecom, Tech support BPO, Accounting KPO, Holidays and leisure and Consulting. She believes in continuous learning, evident in the fact that she completed her MBA with XLRI after 15 years of working and has been recently certified in MBTI, Strong , A&DC and Saville suite of psychometric assessments. Her interests include trekking in the Himalayas, Taichi, bird watching, teaching Yoga, reading to the visually challenged and running half marathons. She is an avid practitioner of Kriya yoga meditation.

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