How Do I Handle Workplace Frustration?

Your Corporate Black Girl

Hey Nikki,

Do you have any advice on workplace frustration with your supervisor? I had a very important meeting yesterday and the overflow of frustration caused me to break down in the meeting. 

I'm feeling worried and defeated about my place moving forward. I love my job and what I do but I don't connect with my supervisor at all.

North Carolina

Dear Frustrated & Defeated,

Before we dive in with how to bring some resolve with your supervisor, I think it's important to do some self assessment first. Ask yourself some questions and be honest with yourself about what the root cause for the tension. Remove your feelings and pull out the facts.

What's causing the frustration?

I think it's important to always keep it about the work. Focus on what's been expected of you and whether you're meeting the expectations or not. Now, this means a few things from where you are right now. It's time to take a few steps back and breathe. Jot down some notes on what being asked of you. Are you clear on what's being asked of you? And be honest with yourself, are you surr that you're meeting the expectations?

Frustration usually happens when there's a gap in communication. Either your supervisor feels like you're not meeting their expectations or you're frustrated because they're not effectively communicating "the ask." Or you need more information and they don't know there's something missing in translation. The point is, you both need to talk. But talking prematurely will only cause more problems and right now, you need resolve.

To sum it up, get to the bottom of what's going on. Try writing things down & take notes. Schedule some time with your supervisor after you're at a better place and discuss where you think the breakdown is. I don't suggest rehashing old issues but discuss the bigger picture of what needs to be resolved and keep it about the work being done. Get clear instructions on what they expect of you and circle it back to them, repeating what they need to make sure you're on the same page.

Set up some time in about a week or two to go over your progress.

You set the tone for the direction this goes from here. Take control. Write things down, ask questions and sum things up. You're the driver!

Keep your head up - you've got this!

Nikki Davis

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Your curly girl manager, just trying to live her happiest life! 

Wife, new mom, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with 11 years industry experience, 6 years of management experience. Manager a team of men in a male dominant industry, while being the only woman on the team. DIY fashion blogger, a self taught seamstress. Owner/Creator of a monthly subscription service,

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