I have currently been working for 2 years in a 100 persons design firm. The first project i worked on (about 1 1/2 year) went well, but in my new team i am struggling to get along with the team lead.

In term of work there is no issue, I am on top of things, but this lead has a bit of an obnoxious personality where he tries to be "cool", talks a lot, try to make "jokes" all day (we work in an open space) and when one doesn't play ball with that he starts to basically bully. Beyond his snarky remarks, I can foresee that he is starting to put together a "case" against me that I am not good at communicating, which will impair my future prospect within the firm.

Because in my field teams are usually quite flexible, I am considering trying to change team before a serious spat has happen. Apparently this lead has already been flagged at HR for some issues with other people.

Do you think it is reasonable to ask for a change of team? Considering the personality of the lead, i don't believe trying to improve things within the team will work. Or is it better to stay quiet and look for a different job all together ?

EDIT: Thanks all for the answers, very appreciated.
I now feel that maybe the best course is to talk 1-on-1 with this manager at my return after the break and ask him if he would like me to leave the team and start a conversation about both our miscontents.

If he says yes it will make it more smooth (but i doubt he will do that as people leaving mid project is a hassle, he mentioned that before); if he says no its a perfect opportunity to air my grievances and express that leaving is on my mind, either within or outside the company.

It is less risky than taking action behind his back; also I will be able to write the content of that exchange as an email to him after the exchange, helping me to start a written track of the issue as I am still on top of things (we had a very smooth deadline just before the break, but if he continues to push me around, exclude me from meetings etc. I might be in a less pristine state of affair later...).

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    I can foresee that he is starting to put together a "case" against me that I am not good at communicating How exactly? If you're able to deliver the expected items within the timeline provided, without compromising quality - what basis do they have to build the case on? If the communication skills you have (or lack) does not affect your work - what seems to be the problem? Dec 27, 2021 at 5:47
  • @SouravGhosh "what seems to be the problem?" The problem seems to be "soft skills".
    – nick012000
    Dec 27, 2021 at 8:17
  • @nick012000 Even if they do not create a problem in the work context? Dec 27, 2021 at 9:18
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    What I read between the lines is that perhaps not soft-skills are missing, but jim basquiat feels primarily be employed to do some work instead of being the lead's personal clown. "Apparently this lead has already been flagged at HR for some issues with other people." - so why not give him one more flag?
    – puck
    Dec 27, 2021 at 10:04
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    @SouravGhosh: it's actually quite easy to "build a case" against anyone, including an employee who delivers well. You can always ding them on (subjective) soft skills, be a more vague around requirements and time lines, communicate slightly different up and down the food chain, etc.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 27, 2021 at 12:43

3 Answers 3


Because I only know your side I will give your lead some slack, maybe this person is just different and you misunderstand the situation.

Had something similar where I wasnt sure if my boss was joking or were serious. He was always very monotone and so sometimes his jokes went over my head and I felt insulted, because I thought his praise was sarcastic and things like that.

In general:

I personally always try to find an error in myself, as it is usually the easiest to fix, so you know where I am coming from.

Have you tried talking to your peers how they feel about it/interpret the leads jokes?

I would also try talking to your lead about it? Which is of course not easy to do, especially when you feel like your lead already dislikes you.

In your case:

I think you already made up your mind and dont want to work with this lead, which is perfectly fine IMO. You should just try to switch teams, this is probably what you want and need to feel comfortable.

Good Luck!


Doing anything "Against" your manager has risks.

I assume you mean to ask someone other than your manager to place you on a different team. How do you think your manager will react to this? Do you think the "someone" will talk to your manager (I would if I were the manager)? What happens to you if the request is denied?

Only you can answer if the risks of trying to move outweigh the risks of staying. Generally "playing ball" with your manager is how you get ahead in a company.


If you like the company, the best course of action is to tough it out.

You don't like your boss's personality? Welcome to the club. If you think switching bosses is your solution, maybe, but probably not. Most bosses have flaws and a lot have SERIOUS flaws, much worse than yours. So, just rolling the dice will not necessarily have a better outcome.

My experience is that good workers rise above their bosses. Workers that complain about their bosses usually complain about ALL their bosses. That's why you should not complain about a boss in general: people will assume it's you, especially if nobody is complaining except you.

Your boss tells bad jokes? Give me a break. I've worked for multiple psychopaths that do crazy, crazy stuff while guiding the whole company into bankruptcy. One VP I had screamed constantly at everybody and ordered me to spend all my time installing "anti-virus software and implementing six sigma" on all the computers instead of developing a demo on which the life of the company depended. Consider yourself lucky if your boss is sane.

If you are good at your job, you will eventually float to the top, and vice versa.

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