I was recently put into a new project. I've encountered my new project manager before and while there's a few things about this PM that concern me:
- They can be very friendly and open, but also very aggressive and demanding
- They are (outward) very sure of themselves and almost never admit faults
- They are IMO manipulative
- We are from different engineering disciplines so most of the times I'm in no position to judge their work, the few times I worked with something they produced I found it to be very rushed and not well thought through.
- They prefer to run teams with little outside communication, which is totally absurd in our specific company
- They often - this is my biggest issue - are either delusional or downright dishonest about work they did or how clear they communicated demands
My first meeting of the new project started with the (very junior) colleague from whom I'm taking over being chewed out for not delivering. From my experience with this PM and talks with the young colleague, PM likely did not give as much guidance as they claim they did. In the past, I also found the whiplash between friendly and aggressively stressful (talking about shared hobbies on one day, getting chewed out in a meeting the next is harder on me than harsh words from my boss)
Some additional information:
- We're consulting engineers
- PM is not only horrible, or even most of the times. For example they do their best to "reward" teams and are mostly understanding of basic stuff like sick leave etc.
- We have regular project meetings, everyone takes their own notes, usually there's no minutes for internal meetings
- Since my first projects with this PM, I've taken care to keep the relationship more distant
This project will likely take one to two years. The project, the plant we will design and build, is cool and I have little choice in the matter anyway, but I want to avoid getting into trouble with this PM. My primary goal is to avoid situations where I'm chewed out or badmouthed with my boss. My secondary goal is to get the standing where I can, if necessary, support other colleagues against the PM.
What are effective habits to manage such difficult managers?