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I have a career discussion with my bosses soon (a cycle of people senior to me including my direct boss). The reason is that I requested a transfer to another team. It's a big company with a huge IT organization and people with my profile are needed all over, so such a switch shouldn't be problematic in theory.

My current situation is that I received a new boss a few months ago. He's a micromanager, blames people for his own decisions, he's unreliable. He asks me something and then doesn't allow to say one full sentence of an answer. He's not helping where I need him but interferring where he's not needed and an obstacle. After going above and beyond to help him with the onboarding and receiving only criticism for several months, I'm tired. I received a very good performance review from my previous boss ("met and exceeded expectations"). Now I just want out. He's always in opposition to me no matter how good I'm doing and how much I'm trying to fulfil his expectations and I am tired of trying.

In the preparation for my career discussion I have to define my values and assess to what extent they are met on the current team (on a scale 1-10). The truth is they aren't. But the question feels like a trap - a way to give feedback to my boss. How should I present it diplomatically keeping in mind that I would still like to stay a year more at the current company? My boss asked me to share the assessment in advance for him to check it.

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  • @JoeStrazzere "I have to ... assess to what extent [my values] are met on the current team (on a scale 1-10). The truth is they aren't [met]." Dec 23, 2021 at 18:00
  • @JoeStrazzere, all I can think of: recognition, personal development, transparency, cooperation in team, impact, respect, etc. I get paid regularly, the job is stable and I do appreciate that. (To rephrase it: I know it could be much worse). But that's not what the question is about. Dec 23, 2021 at 21:13
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    Well, if you tell the truth, you will certainly burn the bridges with your current boss. If you try more diplomatic approach you may be denied your transfer. Certainly unenviable position.
    – rs.29
    Dec 23, 2021 at 21:19

3 Answers 3

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Your team DOES share your values - they don't like being micromanaged either!

Pick values like

  • Each team member takes responsibility for completing their task on time

  • All team members are empowered to stop production if they find an issue with the product (aka Andon cord)

Continue finding statements where you and your team agree. Bring that to your boss. Even if he is out for you, this will start a paper trail for you and your team. If your boss wants stuff like "Integrity" then ask what value he feels each statement represents.

It may not be your decision to stay for another year. You can up your chances by going to bat for your team whenever your manager tries to micromanage them.

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The truth is they aren't.

I don't believe that. If none of your values would be met, you'd run out screaming, quit without notice or be on sick leave by now.

Your boss might not be what you like, but there is more to a team than your boss. Of all your coworkers, are you sure they were what you wanted until the new boss moved in and suddenly they are not? They are the same people. Likely with the same manners and thoughts on teamwork.

So, find out what you want in a team (Not a boss. That was not the question.), write it down and then find examples in your team, where you like what you do.

Do not write down explicit negatives. Work them into your praises. If you are unhappy with how much overtime you have to do, maybe

With the huge amount of overtime we regularly have to cope with, I'm always happy that the team finds a solution where everybody has a say who takes what extra shift.

I really like how we come together and support each other, trying to get the best result when one of the tasks is unclear or not well defined.

If your boss is not what you expect, don't mention them. If you want to switch teams and have tons of praise for your coworkers and none for your boss, people get the message.

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  • It's a bit more complex. I don't want to go into details but I'm not really working with other people or a team. Of course, there's also HR, support functions etc. but my contact to them is limited. Let me quote my favorite TV character: "I can take a lot in terms of psychological pain". Dec 23, 2021 at 19:17
  • Also: I have to assess values like "recognition" and "chance to expand my skills" on a scale 1-10. The assessment is not descriptive, it's a grade. Dec 23, 2021 at 19:28
  • Well, if it's just a scale with pre-defined questions... answer honestly? What other option is there?
    – nvoigt
    Dec 23, 2021 at 19:51
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Don't answer this question. And by "don't answer", I mean "give a non-answer", like "everything is fine, I just want a change of pace". The thing is, if your boss sees this then he may retaliate against you, and if you end up not getting the transfer you want, that could spell danger for your future. Once you are 100% sure of the transfer being approved, then, if you feel so inclined, you can reach out to the appropriate people and provide the true feedback, but for now you don't want to be in the situation where you badmouth your boss, don't get the transfer, and then have to deal with reams of BS for however long you remain at this company.

If everyone on this manager's team, who were perfectly fine under the previous manager, all decide to up and request internal transfers, someone will get the idea that something is wrong and start digging. But right now, you don't have to be the whistleblower.

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