• CCMS (Conflict & Complaint Management Services)

New Supervisor Trouble

Updated: Jul 27

Dear CCMS,


My new supervisor is very sullen and at times surly. When he arrives in the morning, I greet him with “good morning”. Most of the time he just walks by as if I don’t exist and sometimes he says “we’ll see about that”. He treats me like I don’t know anything as he won’t delegate work to me or double checking my work. I do know what I am doing having worked in the government for 25 years. I would like to establish a good working relationship with him but how do I do that given his sullen disposition? Can you help me?


It sounds like you’re walking around on eggshells with this new supervisor. It also sounds like you have not gotten to know each other yet. Approaching your supervisor for a frank discussion can be daunting especially because you are afraid of his reaction. Establishing a good working relationship with this supervisor would make you more comfortable around him. I congratulate you for wanting to address this ELI (early, locally and informally).

Are there times of the day when he is more approachable? What is causing you to be afraid to approach him? What is your typical method for dealing with surly people? Are you not sure how to approach the subject? Working with a conflict coach can assist with identifying the conflict management skills you wish to enhance and prepare you to have a productive conversation with your supervisor.


Conflict coaching is a one-on-one confidential service the Conflict and Complaint Management Services provides to anyone within the Defence Team. Each session is approximately one hour and the number of sessions is specific to the client’s need. Coaching is easily accessible as it can be conducted either in person or over the phone. You can find your local CCMS office contact information on our website.

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