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Recently there was a restructuring at work and everyone who works in my building - including my old manager - now works in a different division, except me. I now have a temporary manager, awaiting a new one.

I never had a great relationship with my old manager and soon before the restructuring he did something underhanded to me during my review. It is not clear if it was intentional or unintentional, but after I pointed it out, he never tried to rectify it or admit a mistake was made. It is very possible he cost me money in either my raise or bonus. I was very upset and was looking for a new job until the restructuring took place.

Soon my new manager will be coming on board. He will be located in another city. I expect I may see him about once a month or so, maybe less. I hope to talk to him about once a week.. My objective is to make sure my old manager no longer has any influence on my career and future reviews. Just to be clear, I do not want to get back at him, just insulate myself from him.

One other point, my old manager is currently the leading expert for the business domain I work in, and my new manager is much more knowledgeable about the technical side of my work. I would not be surprised if my new manager consults with my old manager about my performance.

Do I ask my new manager not to consult my old manager during review time? If so, do I tell him the details of what happened, or only say enough to show why I am asking? Do I say nothing, keep my head down, and hope for the best? Or is there another path?

  • 5
    Asking him not to consult the previous manager could throw up some pretty bad red flags. – Myles Apr 22 '15 at 18:59
  • Since it's not clear what did he do to you, it could be very hard to give you an advice about that… – o0'. Apr 22 '15 at 19:25
  • This seems very specific to your particular situation. Is there another way to phrase the question that could apply to more people? – mcknz Apr 23 '15 at 0:04
4

Do I ask my new manager not to consult my old manager during review time?

No. This would raise a lot of "why? something to hide?" questions -- and rightly so.

Be more proactive. Your "return" will be considerably better by making yourself to be the best employee ever than it will playing games like that.

I am going to directly quote an answer of mine to a different question here:

This process begins way before you start writing your year-end evaluation. The words you write should be a mere formality in terms of your manager evaluating your performance.

  1. Make goals you discuss with your manager for the year (or until the evaluation time period). Make these meaningful. Smart if you like. "I will make more money" is bad. "I will implement the following changes to increase sales by 10% by Jan 1, 1970" is good.
  2. Actually have goals (seriously this is important).
  3. Consistently accomplish and deliver on your goals.
  4. Consistently keep your manager informed as to progress via quick updates. "Hey boss, just wanted to let you know, accomplished XXXX and am working towards YYYY"
  5. Perform at a high level consistently and keep track of it. Note for most people this means being better at communication but doing the same work (part of performing is communication skills, whether you're an engineer or a HR specialist)
  6. Optional: achieve more than your goals
  7. When it comes time to the "how awesome am I time," you now can objectively state:
    • Here were the goals I was attempting to meet last year
    • Here's the actions I took to meet (or exceed them)
    • Here's the work I did in addition to my goals
  8. Optional: include "here were difficulties I encountered, but here were the steps I took to overcome them and meet my goals"

Your manager should know everything in #7 (and 6, really) already because of #4 and so reading this should be a reminder - NOT a "oh, didn't realize Jeff was doing that!" type situation.

If you do all this nothing your previous manager will say can hurt you, because your current manager will

  1. Have communicated with you about your eventual review
  2. Have an outstanding employee
  3. Have a lot of evidence to contradict your previous manager claim(s)

If you focus only on getting your current manager to not talk with this previous manager, you run the risk of that failing and not having any effect.

2

Your best bet is to let your current manager form his own opinion. Most good managers will reserve judgment and make up their own minds in a similar situation rather than depending overly on what they have been told. It's particularly important to get off to a good start with your new manager since he is in a different location, as he won't have as much opportunity to get to know you as a person.

If you build up a good rapport with your manager, you may be able to mention in passing that you had a bad experience in your last review. On the other hand, if you can build a good level of trust and confidence, he's probably going to take any external feedback with a grain of salt anyway, so mentioning your previous problems is unlikely to be necessary.

1

My recommendation is not to say anything, and do the best you can. There's a good possibility that both manager will talk and you will be brought up. Being a manager myself I don't ask about other employees but conversations occur and they do come up. I take what is said with a grain of salt and I make my own judgment. Maybe it was the manager that lacked leadership skills.

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