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I recently joined a new company as a manager. My company is a large company where managers have several levels, e.g., Manager 1, Manager 2, Manager 3, Director, etc. It is slightly odd but not uncommon for managers of the same level to report in to another manager of the same level, even for an extended time with no planned promo. In this case my manager and I are both Manager 1.

My manager appears to have a bad relationship with most of his peers. As a result, I see that he is excluded from many meetings and even email threads. Recently these peers have started to include me in meetings instead of him. How should I best handle this situation? Should I loop him in? It seems like that might cause his peers to start excluding me as well.

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    Don't include someone into a meeting someone else has scheduled, without consent of them. Are these meetings "your business" or do you feel completely wrong being there? Assuming your manager really should participate instead of you, did you ask the organiser why you are included instead of him?
    – puck
    Commented Jul 9 at 7:30
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    "My manager who is the same level as me". How could your manager be at the same level as you are ? Commented Jul 9 at 7:44
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    Have you talked with this manager to see if they can give some insight into what is going on? There could be some serious office politics at play that you may need to be aware of, or this could be this person is already planning on resigning/retiring in a few months and this is all part of the plan.
    – Anketam
    Commented Jul 9 at 11:38
  • Yeah. It is a weird organizational structure. My company is so large though it is not uncommon for people of the same level to report in to each other. Commented Jul 9 at 12:46
  • Can you clarify what you mean by level? In my experience, if one person reports to another they are at different levels, even for large companies. The reporting structure defines the levels
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Jul 9 at 12:54

2 Answers 2

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This is something for your manager, and their manager, to address.

Not you.

Unless you are explicitly asked to assist, don't meddle.

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  • @pomegrante I wish I could +10 this answer. Without being asked to help what to you want to do? What do you want to accomplish about this? Whatever it is, forget it. All you're going to do is make a mess and cause grief.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented Jul 9 at 13:08
  • Thank you both for the perspective. Sorry if this is obtuse of me, but by don't meddle, does this mean respond appropriately to the discussion (attend or redirect) and then give my manager factual transparency of the discussions that occurred? And then let him do whatever it is feels makes sense. Commented Jul 9 at 13:22
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    @pomegranate: Exactly. If the manager feels left out they can decide to do something about it. Maybe they prefer not to attend. Don't assume, don't presume.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 9 at 13:48
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    @gidds agreed. The definition of success of what the OP's goal is fuzzy.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented Jul 9 at 18:16
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    @pomegranate - All you can do is include this individual in the meetings you lead. The individual being left out is NOT your responsibility to solve, include them when it's appropriate when it comes to YOUR work, but when it comes to everyone else's work just stay out of it.
    – Donald
    Commented Jul 10 at 13:43
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Are these meetings within your remit? If so, then go. If not, make appropriate excuses.

If this person is your manager (confusing, if they are the same level as you) then I don't see how you can avoid letting them know what you're spending your time doing, but keep it factual. Literally, "I attended meeting X this week, it lasted an hour and the outcomes are 'Y' and 'Z', nothing on me to action" or similar.

Any discussions about why or the people involved is for your manager and their manager to deal with.

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