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I am not a new employee in the company but I am part of a kind of newly formed team with a newly promoted manager. The team overall is not performing well and she is the main reason (and some team members chip in).

After her manager's feedback she tries to promote an idea of camaraderie in the team and suggest that all team members, along with her, announce that they would like to move to different divisions. I suspect this is to cover herself and try to create noise in expense of her manager. She actually said within the team that she is unhappy with her manager.

I don't know what she has in mind but I find this so unprofessional that I am tempted to report it.

Would it be professional to do that?

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Best practice is not to get involved with other peoples conflicts and ultimatums unless you have the status to force change without repercussions to yourself.

In this instance I would advise just letting her dig herself a hole without your help or hindrance. Office politics and taking sides rarely ends well for everyone.

  • You advice makes sense. One question. Would it be a matter of politics to report it? I won’t be doing it to gain something on her expense and she quite openly encourages the team members to do it. – Jim Mar 9 '18 at 11:01
  • @Jim What benefit would it be to you or your team to report her behavior that everyone already knows about? I think you should take Kilisi's advice and try not to get involved. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 9 '18 at 13:29
  • @ColleenV:What if someone from the team follows her suggestions and loses their job because of this absurdity? – Jim Mar 9 '18 at 16:18
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    @jim I assume you work with adults who are competent and can make their own choices. You are free to make your life as complicated and unpleasant as you want, but I don’t think you’ll find too many people that will advise you to do that. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 9 '18 at 16:21
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    @Jim If a large part of the team takes foolish action on her advice, then the whole team may be seen as as not worth saving. Idly standing by in this kind of situation could be seen as supporting this behavior. Reporting it has its own risks. I'm just trying to highlight the potential risks of not reporting it. – Eric Mar 10 '18 at 16:03
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Your job as an employee involves seeking the benefit of the company. The job of a manager is to be responsible for organizing and managing employees so that they benefit the company. If your manager is failing to do so, allowing her to use the team to make a point at the expense of the company is out of the question.

You need to figure out how you really feel about the team, and if you can honestly say that you want to remain a member of it. If so, then to your direct manager, you can simply tell her that you like the team or the work and want to continue. If you don't want to stay, definitely don't participate in an orchestrated gesture.

Chances are if your manager has already gotten bad feedback from her manager and hasn't taken it to heart and worked to improve, failures of the team will properly be blamed on her leadership unless there is a reason not to. Keep focusing on doing good work and documenting that good work. If you notice reasons for the failure of the team, send emails and copy the right people in them with your suggestions.

The only way for this to backfire is for the team to be considered to not be an asset to the company and the employees fired. In such a case you would want to make a move before that happens.

  • Basically if I understand your (very nice) answer fully you also recommend not to report it. When you suggest If you notice reasons for the failure of the team, send emails and copy the right people in them with your suggestions. what exactly do you mean? I know that the core problem is with the manager and a few team members. Send email to her direct boss? I didn't get that part – Jim Mar 10 '18 at 9:21
  • That might not apply to your situation then. I was thinking that if you noticed a tangible problem with the work or the way something is being done. – Ben Mordecai Mar 10 '18 at 13:42
  • Yes I have tangible issues of what is causing all this. So you advice to report the issues to her manager or what? – Jim Mar 10 '18 at 15:48
  • Let me try with an example. Say one of the major points of failure is that the team misses deadlines because the manager does not communicate due dates to the team because she forgets. I would send an email and copy her manager and say something like, "We've been finding out about deadlines too late. Could set set up a weekly meeting where we go over the schedule and get our calanders in line? Our punchlists are often not matching one another and it's resulting in problems." Now you have shown yourself a constructive member of the team (and not to blame). – Ben Mordecai Mar 10 '18 at 15:57
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    Won't suggesting that via email and cc'ing her manager imply incompetency on her part and also be considered as provocative? I am not trying to doubt your response just for argument's sake. I have never dealt with such a case before – Jim Mar 10 '18 at 18:06
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My advice would be to simply ignore the drama and chow down on work. If your manager starts giving you a hard time for that, you start documenting about her behaviour towards you... That way, it can show that you're interested in the work and that you're able to fight through office drama like this. It can also get you "the long end" in any discussion - you're demonstrably trying to do work, while she and that part of the team are actively trying to sabotage you.

Don't get directly involved in the fight unless you really, really have to. Concentrate on work and keep delivering product - at some point she'll end up either sabotaging herself (at which point you drop the "bombshell" of documentation of incidents at HR) or she'll stop. It sounds like she's made it abundantly clear that she doesn't want to be there.

In a situation like this, you stay cool, you stay mature and you stay civil and professional. You do not play ball or feed the troll - you do what you're hired to do and you do it well. If she starts cutting you off from more work, you already have opportunity to gather evidence.

Patience is key - i've had this way of handling office drama help in the past. It can turn into an opportunity if you play it right. And it's its own reward to be able to sit back and shoot their career in the foot :)

Remember - it's not your job to fix the problem... unless "manager" is in your title, it's not your fight to join unless it's directed at you or unless you're certain that you can "win"

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