For the past 2 weeks, my Project Manager has been giving me and my coworkers the cold shoulder when it comes to the work that we do. She had recently lost someone close to her and had taken a few weeks off to deal with it. It doesn't seem like there is any progress with her because she's already asocial as it is.

My coworkers and I are confused on what to do next. We don't feel like it's our business about the death but at the same time, it's ruining the work that we do and disrupting the vibe in our office.

Should we continue to ignore this behavior or what should we do?

  • 2
    What do you want to achieve? What is your goal (help her)? Please include so in your post :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:12
  • 2
    Do you have work to do and it's just the vibe that has changed, or do you not have work? Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:15
  • We both have work. I'm a software developer and my coworkers are analysts. She's not given us any direction recently about our work and hasn't asked about updates. I've just ignored her attitude but my other coworkers are fearful that she's mad at us.
    – cmpgamer
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


Take some responsibility for your own work. Getting the cold shoulder from a PM is not going to ruin your work. If your work is suffering, look in the mirror.

Let her work out her grief on her own. Be employees, do the best job you can and remember, you're not really friends. You're coworkers.

Also, as one who has been grieving the loss of a dear family member since December, I can tell you that a lot of people don't want their grief acknowledged. They don't want to answer questions or have to say "thanks" for everyone's that's sorry for them. My wife is that way, I'm not. But you've got to read the signals which it doesn't appear like you're doing. When one is grieving it's hard to just get through each day much less worry if their employees are butthurt because they're not getting enough attention.

In other words, follow her lead. And keep following it until (if) she comes out of this fugue.


Given that your manager is currently going through a grieving process, this is completely natural; it may take some time for her to return to her natural mood.

Now, as long as you and your team's tasks are clear and assigned, there is nothing to worry about in a professional way. Perhaps you will have to update and check on her more often due to her reduced disposition, and as a team you may all have to show a bit more initiative during this time.

However, if this situation is beyond the emotional aspect, and is affecting the way your tasks and work are assigned and reviewed, then with more reason you and your team will have to take a more active role in the meantime: update her often, think on options to suggest before consulting her, check on your teammates frequently and review yourselves, etc..

Also, if you feel like it showing some support to her can greatly help the grieving process, and perhaps aid on the team's productivity and task assignment. This part is tricky, though, as it will depend on your company culture and interactions. If you want, maybe try going with something like this (more effective if done in person):

Hello Manager. I am really sorry for your loss, and I admire the way you are coping with it.

I want to tell you that we all are in this with you; and you can count on us if there is anything you need, being it personal or work-related.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .