“What do you do when your subordinate suddenly does not ask questions, avoids speaking to you would rather seek answers from your colleague? When I asked, she said that I’m nit-picky, my standards are too high and I ask too many questions. She prefers very minimal supervision and abhors protocol.”
You have a subordinate not speaking to you? I see a big red flag down on that play. There are several possible issues here and a few things that you need to do:
The first is to talk with your colleague and express concern that one of your subordinates is troubling her with things that you should be handling. Without saying it directly, you want to dissuade your colleague from encouraging the subordinate to come to her and dump on you. That is not OK.
As far as your being too picky or having standards that are too high… it is something to think about. Are you getting similar messages from other subordinates? If so, you need to get a grip on just a few things that you are specifically doing that drive people batty. After all, if a subordinate works best with minimal supervision — hits deadlines, does a good job and doesn’t make anyone else crazy in the process — then it is usually a good idea to loosen the reins.
But as far as this subordinate goes, whether she likes it or not, you are the boss. You need to tell her that she should come to you directly with her concerns and that you will work with her to find a resolution…