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I work for a large software company and there is a planned reorganization to consolidate all the designers under a central organization. While normally I would have no issues with this, I've found out the new manager is a person (let's call him ABC) whom I have just met once before and that one time we've met, he was very dismissive of my ideas and opinions and even critical of my work experience and my skill level.

When my current manager informed me about the reorganization and asked me if I was comfortable with it, I mentioned my concerns (she was in the same meeting with me when we met ABC) and she agreed it might not be a good move and asked if I wanted to stay in the same team. I agreed and that information was communicated to the leadership of the centralized design team about my desire to stay in the current team.

Today I've just got an email from ABC's manager asking if we could chat about the reorganization and if I had any concerns.

I am trying to figure out how to handle the meeting and communicate my concerns. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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    I guess I need to be aware of the possiblity that ABC might become my manager in any case, so how do i communicate it without burning all bridges – Mervin Nov 15 '19 at 6:03
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Tell the truth, but be smart about it. Make sure that you don't blame, complain or judge. Make this about business results, not about your emotions.

Bad: "I wouldn't like working for ABC since they were dismissive of my ideas".

Good: "I'm concerned about the impact on my productivity if I were to work for ABC. I feel I operate best in open and collaborative environment where ideas are freely shared and evaluated based on their merit. In the one interaction that I had with ABC, it appeared that this is not their management style".

You are essentially saying the same thing, but in the second version, you make it about a business outcome and not about "right or wrong" or "good or bad".

A good way prepare would be to make a list of behaviors that you would expect from the manager that's best for you. Then roughly assess how do you think ABC compares to the list and identify where major gaps are. Key here is that this about "fit" and not about "right or wrong".

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  • Thank you,thats a great way of putting it. – Mervin Nov 15 '19 at 3:20
  • @Frank2014 - be aware that the polite version may get push-back from the manager in question. "Oh, but that's not true! ABC is very collaborative!", in which case you'll have to describe your previous interaction, as you did in your post (factual and concise). Mention that your manager witnessed this interaction, and can vouch for you. – AndreiROM Nov 15 '19 at 15:24
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Talk to your manager again. ABC's manager is not yet your manager, so your current manager needs to be fully informed anyway. Your manager may have an answer to the question of you staying with her team or not; you need that information before going into any other discussions with other teams.

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