I work as a contractor (Data Analyst) on a project; I've been there for ~6 months so far and the project will likely run until the end of 2013. I line into 2 managers and I'm having a problem with just one of them.
Put succinctly: She routinely appears to dismiss suggestions that I make out of hand. She occasionally treating me like I am stupid when I ask questions. She appears to see any use of my initiative as a threat to her authority and seeks to quash it.
I've come to the conclusion that this is because her a lack of experience/training on how to manage people combined with a small clash of personality/communication style. I may be the bottom rung here, but I don't like or put up with being pushed around.
On the other hand she does public acknowledge my talent and expertise in my job, saying that I'd be a serious loss to the project.
I see 4 ways of going forward
1/ Get manager to become aware of her deficiencies and get some training/mentor feedback
2/ Take no action and hope it gets better
3/ Learn how to shut up and put up with being pushed around and belittled
4/ Think outside the box and Learn how to manage my Manager
The first isn't particularly feasible. The second and third are pathetic. However I have no idea how to do the forth.
Obviously, in an ideal world I'd be able to click my fingers and have her communication style changed. I think that the essential content of what she is saying is probably accurate, it's the words and the way it is said that I find objectionable.
But I think the key here is the opposite - it's changing *my* communication style so that my actions and words come across in an acceptable manner, even if the content is essentially the same.
How do I enable myself to have some initiative without my manager's reaction to be one of essentially "You shouldn't have made that decision." - even when they are only really minor things and I always get these decisions checked before they are submitted anyway?
How do I deal with (or change) my manager's belittling of my clarifying questions?
Am I even thinking in the right direction here? Should I just suck it up and admit/fix my 'attitude problem'?