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Old 02-19-2018, 04:52 PM #1
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Default Communicating with a control freak??

I need help digging my way out of this!

An acquaintance asked me to partner with her on a project. I am (or was) really excited about the project because it gives me greater credibility and exposure in a line of work I'm pursuing, as well as networking opportunities. The project work is independent with a natural division, I do the work in April, she does the work in May. It seemed like a no-brainer to say yes and I was flattered to be asked.

HOWEVER, this woman is driving me crazy. She is giving me very explicit instructions on how to do my portion of the work, even though we both have the same level of expertise. She's emailing me 3-6 times per day, making up her own requirements and deadlines. She wants me to send all my prep to her for review but won't share hers - she told me I had to do my own work, as if I were shirking! I don't really want hers, I just asked her for it because she wanted mine!

Can I get her to back off without offending her? She has no reporting authority over me and I do not have to let her vet my work. I've been sending brief responses that ignore most of her questions about my progress. This indirect approach doesn't really seem to be working because she's still driving me nuts with her messages. Maybe I need to filter them into a folder I only look at once a week...
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

I wonder if it would work to respond with your own 'control' back to her. Tell her how you are going to operate. For example, you could outline how you plan to do the work and how you will work independent on your month because you work best that way. She seems to want involvement for some reason, so you could add that if you need anything, you will contact her. You could also add that you could give her a status every other week (or other timeframe), if that would help her.

She might stop will all the emails if she realizes you are handling it and don't need 'supervising'.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:42 AM #3
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

Thank you, that's a good suggestion! It's a completely different way of looking at it than I have been. I've been reluctant to share any kind of updates or plans with her because I didn't want her to think she has a right to supervise me - but if I give her a plan, she may feel like I have it under control and not need to reach out so much.
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:44 AM #4
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

Yeah, since you're partnering, you need to give her a sort of scope of work. Tell her what work you are going to complete, when you will complete it, and when you will share it with her. Tell her if you have any questions, you'll reach out to her, but otherwise, you've got it under control.

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Old 02-21-2018, 11:26 AM #5
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

It's actually getting a lot worse. I may stop communicating with her and just communicate with the actual supervisor. She is now refusing to give me contact information so I can request access to a system I need to complete the work. Not a big deal, I'll get it from someone else, but her response was quite offensive. No matter what I email, she comes back with a long list of instructions and explanations of why I'm wrong. This time I am wrong to be requesting someone's email address because it may be private. I requested the information in response to her previous email which instructed me to contact this person. she also warned me not to ask anyone else because it could be embarrassing to me?? Wondering at this point if I even want to have my name associated with this person in anyway.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:29 AM #6
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

I'd send those emails to my supervisor. Did you (politely) remind her that she is not the boss?
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:34 AM #7
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

Is she trying to get you to do her work for her and wants to take credit but is limiting your access so no one else knows you are the one actually working on the project? That's the feeling I'm starting to get.

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Old 02-21-2018, 11:37 AM #8
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

Do you feel as though you are being bullied?
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:13 PM #9
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvert View Post
It's actually getting a lot worse. I may stop communicating with her and just communicate with the actual supervisor. She is now refusing to give me contact information so I can request access to a system I need to complete the work. Not a big deal, I'll get it from someone else, but her response was quite offensive. No matter what I email, she comes back with a long list of instructions and explanations of why I'm wrong. This time I am wrong to be requesting someone's email address because it may be private. I requested the information in response to her previous email which instructed me to contact this person. she also warned me not to ask anyone else because it could be embarrassing to me?? Wondering at this point if I even want to have my name associated with this person in anyway.
I would opt to communicate with the actual supervisor. Do you have any need to communicate with her at all in order to finish the project? If not I would stop replying altogether. Otherwise limit your communications to the bare essentials and don't get drawn into her machinations.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:44 PM #10
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Default Re: Communicating with a control freak??

I don't feel bullied, more annoyed and angry! I contacted the supervisor today - not to say anything nasty, just to get the info I need. I'm not dealing with the other woman anymore as long as I don't have to.

Seesaw, I do wonder about her limiting my access and taking credit. She has taken things I've told her in casual conversation and shared them with other people without attribution. It's not private or exciting information, but it's odd to tell someone something and then see them broadcast it to a much larger group hours later. She has even retold me things I've told her.
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