The post “Got a Bad case of Supervisor Syndrome” – generated passionate responses. If you missed the post, click here to read it.
Since my clients seem to get stuck in what I call the
"web of bad" -- a strong focus on (if not obsession with) the CONTENT of their circumstances and their REACTION to it, I want to write about one theme in this “web of bad” in case you are stuck in the “Supervisor Sydrome”
THEME = ETHICS (RIGHT and WRONG behavior): My clients seem to get deep into analyzing the right and wrong behaviors committed by themselves and their supervisor.
Clients in this space tend to try defining first what is right and wrong with the ultimate hope that this ethical clarity will actually change something for them.
My bias is that focusing on "right or wrong" is mostly a waste of your time. Although the ethical investigation might be a good intellectual exercise, it has limited results for changing or offering you some relief from your actual circumstance.
The thing that entangles international workers in the “supervisor syndrome” is getting caught up in their supervisor’s distorted view. Let me explain. You move through your life getting feedback about who you “are” (feedback on your “being”) and how you “perform” (feedback on your “doing”); from the moment one is born until the moment one dies.
From what I see, what really bothers the international worker is that his/her supervisor's view is not aligned with how he/she sees himself/herself (their “self concept”).
I call this the “distorted view” and I am telling you that many people are deeply impacted by the way that past supervisors have “seen” them or how their current supervisor “sees” them.
Many international workers feel they have no power to change the relationship with their supervisor – and the reality is that this may be true.
If you find yourself entangled in this “distorted view” then here are three questions you can ask yourself to provide some immediate relief:
1. Where is my attention? (on myself, my supervisor, my work, daydreams, my vision, values, complaints)
2. Who am I becoming? (i.e. How is your supervisor syndrome changing how you feel and how you behave in relationship to yourself, others and your work?)
3. What will free me up from this right now?
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