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I joined my current company not even a year ago, I knew the manager (Paul) previously an old work colleague from many years ago. A guy who I've had on facebook but not seen during this time. But we are friends, kind-of.

I have to say I'm very careful with him and what I say to him.

I think he had a big part to play in getting my current role.

Under the managing director he's at the same level as handful of other managers in the business, but he and another guy were the original three founding members of the company, the other guy is called Dave.

Anyway, a junior colleague joined the company a few months ago and was told by his supervisor to be careful of Paul as he has a short temper and not to talk over him.

I hadn't heard this and did talk over him and was barked at 'let me finish' several months ago.

Anyways we have morning meetings, every morning. As soon as Paul enters the room, the mood changes. He has a stern look on his face.

He often scolds people in the meeting and barks out orders, even some in senior positions, direct reports to him, also some at the same level, it's just really unprofessional. He often tells off one guy and the junior guy especially.

I feel that he judges and assesses all of us every day, it's supposed to be a scrum.

It's really stressful and embarrassing, seeing him treat people in this way.

In the department, they've lost 3 of the 7 staff this year, all of whom have been there several years. We now have 6 in total. I don't think my junior colleague will be with us much longer. It's really quite a desperate situation in the company, we really can't keep loosing people like this. I know Paul is really quite annoyed that people keep leaving.

To be honest I'm not happy either, I have mentioned it to Paul in a review, but I didn't at the time, make an issue out of it.

I just think it's such a shame that this is happening and something can't be done.

The rest of us guys in the department get on well together and even have a bit of a laugh when Paul isn't in the office.

I know I could speak to HR, but I still feel quite junior to the company and I'm not sure what would happen.

Paul is regarded as quite senior through-out the company.

I could speak to the managing director, but it might get back to Paul, he may even tell Paul to sort out his department, I can't imagine what sort of chaos that could come back to me.

My junior colleague has spoken to Dave and said he wasn't happy, who spoke to his supervisor, who spoke to Paul last week, but nothing has changed and nothing will.

I'm really trying to figure out if we can do anything to get out of this situation, I'm struggle to think of any solution.

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    What is it that makes you not want to leave? Is it something within the company or external factors? – Matthew Gaiser Feb 12 at 22:40
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    I do like the other guys and I hate having to change jobs. – BillThomas Feb 12 at 22:46
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    I doubt you can do anything without putting your neck on the line. And since Paul has the unique position of being a founder, the only other people who can reign him in are likely the other founders. – Shadowzee Feb 12 at 23:35
  • Location? Different places have different laws, and this might be illegal behavior in some of them. – nick012000 Feb 13 at 13:17
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I just think it's such a shame that this is happening and something can't be done.

Yes, it is a shame. The shame is even bigger, considering that the same happens in so many companies all over the world.

It's really stressful and embarrassing, seeing him treat people in this way.

Yes, it is. Been there, done that.

I can't imagine what sort of chaos that could come back to me

Nobody can imagine. But there is a very high chance that chaos will come, and hit hard.I has happened before, and it will happen again, in so any companies.

In the department, they've lost 3 of the 7 staff this year, all of whom have been there several years. We now have 6 in total. I don't think my junior colleague will be with us much longer.

So people tend to know the best course of action. Good for them.

It's really quite a desperate situation in the company, we really can't keep loosing people like this.

We? Is that your company? Do you own stock, or anything else significant? If not, please DO NOT identify yourself with the company. That is just a job, not another self of yourself.

I know Paul is really quite annoyed that people keep leaving.

As long as he is not annoyed by the fact that he is the reason that people leave, that is just hurt big ego. Nothing for you to worry about.

How can / should I deal with my manager, who has already lost staff due to his behaviour, without leaving?

Without leaving? Just do your job, for as long as you can, to the best of your abilities.

With leaving? Well, find a better job at another company and just leave. You might feel hurt because of the good colleagues left behind, but your health (in general, as well as mental) is a lot more important.

How can / should I deal with my manager? You do not. You can not. You should not. Unless you want to shoot yourself in the foot.

I do like the other guys and I hate having to change jobs.

It is good that you created good connections with the colleagues. You can still remain friends even some of you leave the company. No matter how much you hate changing jobs, you will hate more losing your health and destroying your life.


To get a better understanding why all I said is true, search the net for "People join companies and leave managers".

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If you want to speak to Paul as a manager there is nothing you can do. He is either totally oblivious (doubtful) that it's him who make people drive people off OR he don't care Or he don't care beause he blame the people and not himself.
So you wouldn't sa to manager Paul nothing he haven't been told before.

BUT

Regarding your previous experience with him you can talk with Paul as a friend. Maybe outside working hours, maybe during informal lunch. Give him advice on what Scrum is and why his meetings are not it. Ask if he tried to work on way he talk to people. Ask him does he want people to stay in the company and is willing to change a little bit for it.
Because if he don't want/see a need to change - see point 1.

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but nothing has changed and nothing will.

I think you already have your answer. Figure out how to minimize the impacts on your relationship with the mutual friend and on your career, then find another job. Many here hate that answer, but you’ve laid out a litany of obvious clues and outright attempts to fix it. Paul is Paul and doesn’t seem to realize or care about why he’s only in middle management at what he helped create.

Given your junior status, this may not apply but also given your department’s inability to retain talent, you may be in a position to curb Paul’s behavior. Even so, have the applications ready to click send. That said, one of my favorite moments of my career was in a tiny company (12 people). The CEO was brilliant and really was a good man, but had a temper and wouldn’t do much to control it. I had become so embedded that the company would suffer were I to leave. In a group meeting, he continued to treat me disrespectfully until I stood up and said, “I’m not going to be part of to this,” and continued walking right out of the room and on through the front door as he said, “Yes you are.” He never spoke to me that way again. I stayed on for another year or two thereafter.

There’s a chance that inappropriate bursts are so normal to him that you melting down might not be seen as abrasively as most of us would see it. But the reality is such action is more likely to get you fired than treated well. It’s a bold risk and be ready for the likely fallout if you pursue it.

Your safest course remains to play nice until you find something else. He believes his behavior to be acceptable.

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Make a formal complaint as often as necessary. If it comes back to you in negative way, make that into another formal complaint.

A friend of mine had an experience like this. Her boss was belittling and unreliable; to the point that my friend requested any direction she was given be in writing/email, because the expectations always changed and were used against her.

My friend took the problem to her boss and to HR at different times. Both parties said they knew this manager was a problem and driving away good employees, but they didn't have the grounds to fire her. BUT, no one had ever made formal complaints either. My friend began to document and relay specific instances of inappropriate behavior. Having those formal complaints eventually lead to the manager being investigated and dismissed form the company, not only for her interactions but other shady dealings as well.

I don't know what will happen, but nothing can happen if the ones receiving mistreatment don't speak up.

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