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I've recently acquired a new manager who has been making a lot of changes and requests. I'm always willing to compromise if there's an obvious benefit or problem being solved, and while I was initially willing to take steps to comply with things that I didn't necessarily agree with, it's reached a point where I'm no longer willing to keep inconveniencing myself if there isn't an answer to 'What is the actual benefit to the team or problem being solved by this change?' that I feel is acceptable.

This exact problem has occurred once in the past, also with a new manager. I knew that the requests weren't unreasonable themselves, but complying was inconvenient to me and offered no substantial impact to the team or my work. My thought process was along the lines of 'What are the repercussions you can leverage against me if I say no? You can fire me and I can have a new job within days,' but I felt that communicating this wasn't appropriate and would lead to an unhealthy work environment.

Last time, I just went ahead and moved on to a new job. Shortly after I left, the rest of the team also left for the same reasons, which made me realize that this may be a common problem. I've now begun the same process of smiling and nodding while I schedule interviews on the side, but I've been wondering if there's a healthy way to address this situation.

Just as an example, one problem involved a regular two hour team meeting. The majority of the meeting was managers going back and forth, with no input from anyone else; I brought up a concern that this meeting should only include the managers, but it was brushed aside. I usually bring a book with me and split my attention between reading and paying attention to the meeting. I was pulled aside and told that I need to stop bringing books. I explained that I'm still paying attention and answering the rare question asked during the meeting, and asked what the problem with that is; the only response was 'not giving the meeting your full attention is rude.' Which it certainly may be.

This question may be specific to high-demand professions (in this case, software engineering), but is there any diplomatic way to explain to a manager that they should be picking and choosing their battles? Is picking up your bags and leaving the only solution?

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    Have you asked the question "What is the actual benefit to the team or problem being solved by this change?" – Jane S Sep 16 '15 at 3:18
  • This related question has the answers you need from a practical perspective, while this question addresses the aspects of working with others. – enderland Sep 16 '15 at 15:52
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    Also, it is not uncommon for good developers to have traits of autism. It might be relevant if this is the case here as it would explain the lack of understanding of the social mechanisms in play here. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 19 '15 at 14:26
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    Even in high demand fields, people who behave as you say you are will become more trouble than they're worth. You can move around, but your repuation will eventually catch up to you. Remember, people talk. – DLS3141 Jun 12 '17 at 12:48
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    Give your manager a copy of "peopleware" as a present ... ;) – Daniel Sep 13 '17 at 9:14

12 Answers 12

226

There are a number of issues that you mention in your question. I think for some of these there are things that you need to look at yourself rather than blame the manager.

Let's address them one at a time:

...it's reached a point where I'm no longer willing to keep inconveniencing myself if there isn't an answer to 'What is the actual benefit to the team or problem being solved by this change?' that I feel is acceptable.

As in my comment, is this something you have actually asked your manager? Have you outlined any negative impacts that the change will have on your team, such as ramp up time, decreased productivity, no measureable increased productivity. If you want to counter this argument, then you need to give evidence as to why it's a bad thing.

My thought process was along the lines of 'What are the repercussions you can leverage against me if I say no? You can fire me and I can have a new job within days,' but I felt that communicating this wasn't appropriate and would lead to an unhealthy work environment.

Yes, communicating this is not appropriate and speaks more about you than your manager. If you have a moral objection to something that you cannot back up with a rational argument, then it's your problem that you need to deal with. If this means moving on and finding the same situation (yet) again, then hopefully by that time you may find that the issue resides with you rather than the organisation.

I usually bring a book with me and split my attention between reading and paying attention to the meeting. I was pulled aside and told that I need to stop bringing books.

This is incredibly rude and unprofessional. Your manager has for whatever reason decided that he or she requires your input in this meeting. You objected and were told that you need to attend. If I had someone doing this in my team, they would be pulled up on it immediately. Just because you don't see the value does not give you grounds to act in an unprofessional manner.

This question may be specific to high-demand professions (in this case, software engineering), but is there any diplomatic way to explain to a manager that they should be picking and choosing their battles?

I think you should rather be asking yourself if you should pick and choose your battles. From how I read the situation, your manager has not done one thing wrong; instead I see a rude, disruptive and arrogant team member who does not wish to act in a professional and objective manner.

Is picking up your bags and leaving the only solution?

This won't solve anything, because the issue will travel with you to your new employer, like it did to where you are now from your previous workplace.

What I would recommend is this:

  • If you have an issue with something you are being asked to do, quantify the reason for it. If there isn't a reason you can give legitimately, then nobody is going to say no.
  • If you have been asked to attend a meeting, try engaging with the managers rather than sit there passively. Be proactive. Perhaps you might find out earlier some of these decisions you are having "thrust upon you" and have a chance to provide input sooner.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh (and I may well get downvoted for this answer), but as someone who has been a developer for 20 years and have sat at all levels in the reporting hierarchy, it's important to recognise where you should perhaps be introspective and look at how you can improve yourself and the work flows, rather than acting in an unprofessional manner that does you no favours.

Too many times I have seen someone who is bright, very capable, and instead of trying to resolve an issue, they simply complain about it and contribute to it instead by not being proactive and giving guidance from their experience that could make things better for everyone. This is what I see in this post.

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You sound like a younger version of me. I did things like that. I was the best programmer on the team and I was needed. That allowed me to pull stuff that nobody else would have gotten away with. When things were asked of me that clearly were stupid, and when reasoning did not help, I did not do them.

I have come to realize that this is not a good approach, though, for the reasons outlined below:

but I felt that communicating this [...] would lead to an unhealthy work environment.

This is true. The other confrontational things you did (e.g. the book in the meeting) are poisonous as well. Humans are not rational machines. Disobedience can easily poison the relationship to your manager.

You seem to care about having a functioning relationship with your manager. Therefore, you have two alternatives:

  1. Obey. It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to change anything through "civil disobedience". I know because I tried.
  2. Find an employer who values you more. For good programmers there are many such employers.

It appears you have switched jobs already for this reason and are about to do it again. How come you are working at a bureaucratic company again? Maybe you should pick the place where you come to work better.

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    Right, I think finding a company with a specifically more appropriate culture is the solution. This takes some initiative and luck (evaluating culture as an interviewee is difficult!) but it's possible and worth trying. Two concrete suggestions would be to find a company of a different (probably smaller) size or moving geographically. – Tikhon Jelvis Sep 17 '15 at 0:30
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    @TikhonJelvis Actually I had to move to a larger company to find a better culture. Small ones can be just as bad because there are fewer checks and balances. But like you said, it's tough to evaluate before actually working somewhere. – thanby Sep 17 '15 at 6:49
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    The last paragraph here is the key. – Robert Grant Sep 18 '15 at 9:55
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    I think #2 should be rephrased to state "Find an employer who values your time more". The difference being that a developer who routinely sits in 2+ hour meetings is not being utilized correctly. They might very well value the developer buy simply have no idea how to properly utilize the OPs skill set. – NotMe Sep 18 '15 at 20:38
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    This answer is ok, but there is another solution, be assertive. This means not doing passive-aggressive things like reading books during meetings, and in a confident reasonable manner questioning some of the managers directives. Assertiveness, i.e., a civil discussion, should not harm a relationship... – daaxix Sep 20 '15 at 6:07
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There is an old saying that people join their company but quit their managers.

You're a software developer, you're confident in your ability to find another job, and you clearly don't have any respect for your new manager - bringing a book to read in a meeting is a very strong indicator of that.

I'm not going to wash you like Jane and tell you that you're acting unprofessionally. Instead, I'm going to suggest that you:

  1. Meet with your manager and have an honest discussion about the trouble you're having adjusting to the new management style. Come in good faith and be willing to change your mind if/when new evidence comes.
  2. Be prepared to move on, moving on is not such a bad thing. Being in a company that is a cultural fit to your personality is important and if the new manager changed that it is entirely appropriate to move on and negotiate better terms in the next place anyway.

Whatever you do - stay professional, keep your cool and do not undermine your supervisor's authority, certainly not in front of them like the book thing. You don't owe them that, especially if you want to move on - but it might help a lot with what sort of terms you stay with them.

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    @stackexchanger I'm not sure why you think that. The direct answer is: "Meet with your manager and have an honest discussion about the troubles you're having adjusting to the new management style. Come in good faith and be willing to change your mind if/when new evidence comes." and the underlying tone is :be prepared to move on, being in tune with a company's culture is important and if the new one doesn't fit your style, walking away is fine. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Sep 18 '15 at 14:40
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    This is the best answer, essentially and assertive approach. – daaxix Sep 20 '15 at 6:08
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I'm always willing to compromise if there's an obvious benefit or problem being solved, and while I was initially willing to take steps to comply with things that I didn't necessarily agree with, it's reached a point where I'm no longer willing to keep inconveniencing myself if there isn't an answer to 'What is the actual benefit to the team or problem being solved by this change?' that I feel is acceptable.

Hmm. This is your boss, right?

Sometimes (usually) we need to do what the boss wants, even if it's "inconvenient". That's the nature of work and the boss/employee relationship.

This exact problem has occurred once in the past, also with a new manager. I knew that the requests weren't unreasonable themselves, but complying was inconvenient to me and offered no substantial impact to the team or my work. My thought process was along the lines of 'What are the repercussions you can leverage against me if I say no? You can fire me and I can have a new job within days,' but I felt that communicating this wasn't appropriate and would lead to an unhealthy work environment.

Yes. I agree that basically saying "Why should I bother to listen to what my boss tells me to do" would be inappropriate and does not generally make for a healthy work environment.

I usually bring a book with me and split my attention between reading and paying attention to the meeting. I was pulled aside and told that I need to stop bringing books. I explained that I'm still paying attention and answering the rare question asked during the meeting, and asked what the problem with that is; the only response was 'not giving the meeting your full attention is rude.' Which it certainly may be.

Very rude. And very passive-aggressive. Don't do that if you value your job.

This question may be specific to high-demand professions (in this case, software engineering), but is there any diplomatic way to explain to a manager that they should be picking and choosing their battles? Is picking up your bags and leaving the only solution?

Certainly an alternative is to just do the work that is assigned to you, without regard to if it happens to be "inconvenient".

You cannot just say "Hey boss, you should pick and choose your battles". There's nothing diplomatic about that - just the opposite.

If you can get yourself in check a bit, and in a calm time period have a quiet, private chat with your manager, you might be able to explain your viewpoint on some of the specifics. Focus on why you feel a change would be ineffective, not that it is "inconvenient" or that you don't feel a request is "acceptable" - that's not for you to decide.

While software engineering might be in high demand in your locale, anyone can be replaced. When a company brings in a new manager, there is always some change. Often, that's the reason this new manager was chosen - to enact change. If you can't bring yourself to do what the new boss wants, you may be best advised to once again find yourself a new job. Otherwise, the choice may not be yours to make.

That said, your question makes it sound like you really don't care at all. It reads as if you have already decided "If things aren't exactly the way I want, I'll risk getting fired or I'll quit - because I'm in such high demand that I can get a new job in a few days."

Perhaps you have been lucky, and usually your manager does everything you want, and only requests things that are convenient to you. In my experience, that isn't typical, but your mileage may vary. In my experience, most managers will only deal with high-maintenance individuals for a short period of time before concluding that they aren't worth it and dumping them.

Maybe in the long run you aren't suited to work for someone else. You might be better off working for yourself, and never having to do anything you don't necessarily agree with.

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    You have placed all the behavior related issues on the doorstep of the OP. How about addressing that the management is OK with compelling employees to spend two hours in meetings that are of little direct relevance. You are writing off the OP as someone who were unable to work in a collaborative environment. That is an unfounded result based on the OP having landed in companies with apparently dysfunctional management styles. – javadba Sep 17 '15 at 15:49
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    @javadba I find that scenario rather like going to college and sleeping through class and expecting to get full participation points. I get the feeling he was brushed off because he brought it up at the wrong time (probably during the meeting). I think he would at least know what kind of input they are expecting, or what he should be getting out of the meeting, if he had actually talked to his manager about it and told him the meetings feel like a waste of time for him to be there. – DoubleDouble Sep 17 '15 at 18:36
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    Ultimately, even if he only says one piece of input the entire time, maybe they do think that one thing was worth the cost of having him there the full two hours, so long as he's paying attention. That isn't for him to decide and if he doesn't like that, he probably needs to work for himself. – DoubleDouble Sep 17 '15 at 18:39
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    @javadba The assessment that the meeting was of little direct relevance may be incorrect by the OP. It might just be of political importance and he was asked to be there in case of a technical issue comng up needing a quick answer. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 19 '15 at 14:12
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    @DoubleDouble thank you for the added explanation of participation points. I can see they would work around the sleeping servant problem and keep them engaged in discussion during the lecture. I would suggest that OP has hinted that PP are not present and that participation is much like shouting into the wind. If you are not needed in a meeting, you should not be required to sit there to fill the room. If you are in a meeting you should be able to participate. – TafT Sep 23 '15 at 10:07
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Unlike others I'd like to closely stick to the spirit of your question. Yes, many times I've seen in bureaucratic hierarchical organizations the Techies who were genuinely independent from their superiors. Their teammates as well as managers usually see such person as a holy cow also known as grey eminence. I think there is a possibility you ask about this. I don't want to judge you if you want to become one. I certainly wouldn't endorse it.

It seems to me that one becomes a holy cow by very boldly stating their own leverage – and, then, their own terms – to their manager in one-to-one conversation. After this big moment if the employee really has the leverage they think they have, the manager stops the actual management of a holy cow. Manager enters a cease-fire silently doing the bare minimum in their administrative area: vacation approval, time-sheet processing, overtime acceptance, etc. In return, the employee never makes a show of their disobedience. They just don't go to the damn meeting. They don't answer the damn e-mail. Soon enough everyone outside the team gets used to the weird situation and it can last years and often decades.

The crucial point is that the holy cow always needs to separate themselves from the rest of the team as much as possible. There cannot be more than one holy cow in a team, or management would lose means to achieve their own objectives. The management would be soon forced to use more and more drastic means to re-gain the control. The collective holy cow teams are seen only in the most extremely dysfunctional hierarchies.

Holy cow is usually perceived by all others as a slow-working, ineffective employee (even when it's not true). They don't look happy to me, either.

Again, I certainly wouldn't endorse this behavior.

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    Anyone I have ever seen behave like this got fired eventually. – HLGEM Sep 16 '15 at 18:03
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    I have seen people point out in front of others that they are the only ones who understand the system and therefore cannot be fired. (And they weren't.) If you actually DO HAVE this kind of leverage, then a one-on-one meeting is the best place to deploy it. Upvoting this for answering the actual question instead of lecturing on manners. – stackexchanger Sep 17 '15 at 20:25
  • Great addition to the answer pool. An interesting, different take that doesn't really overlap with the others. Thanks! – PoloHoleSet Sep 13 '17 at 14:06
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Feeling as you do, it is probably time for you to leave. However, since you have so many opportunities available, you should choose carefully instead of just taking the first offer with an acceptable salary. There are a lot of software shops with ineffective processes that you will find frustrating. Don't go to one of those. Do your homework and join a company that understands the value of engineering time and doesn't waste it.

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So another perspective and yes I am clearly a techy

Managers go the meetings and manage that is what they do. They often view the time of a high end techy as no more than a secretary. 2 hours out of the day of a developer is a lot.

Cleary bring a book is not the way to handle it. Bring code or go over your project schedule. They are paying you - conform even if you don't agree.

I get petty requests from managers that want to manager for the sake of manage all time and just suck it up and do it. I will explain to them a couple times why I don't think it is a good idea. If they want to listen they will. If they don't want to listen they won't. Do what they ask even if you don't agree. You manipulate them with seeds so they come back with their idea but I don't have the patience for that. If you feel what they asked for something that could cause some problems down the road then document them politely. You don't want to get blamed for the consequences of a task you don't agree with. "Made the change X and did testing Y - be aware the down the line the potential impact is Z." Where I get this a lot is scale. When the app is small you can do a lot of stuff. An app that is going to get big have to potentially have to scale out to like a farm you need to design for that. If they say they don't care I want it then say fine. But when the day comes for scaling it out and that task is huge give them a list of changes you did not agree with that made the task hard.

Don't leave because a manager does not respect your time. It is not a battle - it is a way of life. A really good manager that respects your time is a gift and they are going get promoted. A shitty manager you are stuck with. Suck it up. Move to another job for a better opportunity but don't expect better managers.

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    @Beta you need to get your nose out of code. Coders are a dime a dozen. People who understand the business who can code are valuable. People who refuse to show interest in the business tend to write code that users hate and that doesn't do what it needs to do. To become a senior dev (a real one) means, among other things, attending meetings and paying attention. If you think it is beneath you then you are going to lose out on possibilities to influence your organization and products. – HLGEM Sep 16 '15 at 17:52
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    @HLGEM: I've never known a manager who said "coders are a dime a dozen" who didn't wind up running projects into the ground and shifting the blame to everyone else. – Beta Sep 16 '15 at 18:09
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    @HLGEM High end coders are not a dime a dozen. It is the role of the team lead / project manager / product manager / CIO to relate business needs to functional requirement and functional specifications. It is the role of a high end coder to write end code. Stay on top of technology is a full time job. A one person job that works directly with the customer is another thing but I don't think that is the situation the OP is describing. – paparazzo Sep 16 '15 at 18:45
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    @fribee, High end people are not coders, they are senior devs who are not a dime a dozen. But they are not competent if they don;t understand the business end. – HLGEM Sep 16 '15 at 20:56
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    @HLGEM Then I am clearly not competent as I have done lots of coding from spec that I had no idea what business was on the other end. – paparazzo Sep 16 '15 at 21:07
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If you have other, more important work to be doing, simply point this out ask him which tasks are the highest priority. Explain to him that doing the tasks he asks for will delay these other ones..

After that, even if you disagree with how he prioritises the work, well... He's the manager! His job is to assign the tasks, your job is to do them.

If you don't have other tasks to do, then, well I'm afraid you've nothing to complain about.

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    I once had a manager who said "This is an engineering division. We bill for engineering, not management or accounting. Anyone who is not doing engineering is here to run after engineers." I have never seen more devotion from engineers to a manager in my entire life. No-one wanted to let him down, and when we couldn't deliver he got early warning. I started Pizza Tuesday, disruptive but popular, and he gently removed it from me and had a functionary do it because "I need you for jobs she can't do". – PAW Sep 21 '15 at 2:34
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So, the core difficulty here is that you know better than the manager how to make decisions that the manager is making (or at least you think you do, of which more later, but the issue is real whether you're correct or incorrect).

Leaving is not the only solution, it's the final recourse. I'm not going to give you a tutorial in "how to talk to another human being" because that's too large a subject and you may well already be as good as me at it or better. But some issues you need to work through with your boss are:

  • Why is he making a decision that you are better able to make? Why does he not just leave it to you? What can the two of you do to identify what decisions he should make and what decisions you should make?
  • Why do you not accept the reasons he gives you? On what basis do you decide whether an answer to "what is the benefit?" is acceptable to you or not, given that the answer is acceptable to your boss and presumably his boss etc?
  • What should happen in cases where the two of you genuinely disagree for irreconcilable reasons? Even though you're right and he's wrong, which of you is authorised by your mutual employer to make the final decision as to what the company will do and how your work time should be spent? Would you be better off in a job where such decisions are made between you and a paying client with whom you negotiate, rather than you and your boss who's been put in charge of you? Perhaps contracting would better satisfy you.
  • On what basis do you decide whether or not it is acceptable for your boss to "inconvenience" you by making "reasonable requests" whose impact on your team is not "substantial" in your opinion? Who is the proper judge of what benefits your mutual employer, and not just your team?
  • Why are you there? Is it to do what you think benefits the team, or is it to do what your employer needs and/or asks of you? If what your boss asks for isn't what he needs, then how can you go about illustrating those discrepancies in ways that don't primarily express your frustration, rather which primarily seek a solution?

In short, you need to build a working relationship with your boss in which he doesn't make arbitrary decisions and you accept the decisions he has authority to make, even if you don't agree with them. And you need to find a job where either you're in charge, or else where you're willing to inconvenience yourself on behalf of whoever is.

The fact is that in almost all companies, managers are not just minor functionaries who are there to perform a job that you'd do better than them if only you weren't busy with something more important. Rather, they are the person authorised to decide what is important and what you're supposed to achieve. It's best if they can persuade you to agree with them as to what's important, especially if you are of a mind to leave when you don't get your own way, but it's not their job to bring you to the point where you would make the same decision yourself (i.e. do their job for them).

If everyone leaves then the boss most likely is not doing a good job (although there can be exceptions). On that basis it would appear that you've had bad luck twice in a row. Ask yourself, can you only work for a company if everyone around you does a good job, or are you good enough to overcome that?

Look also at the seniority of the job you're doing. If you could leave and get just as good a job immediately, then you may be selling yourself short in your job-hunting process, and could aim higher. If a great job for you comes along every day, then maybe an even greater one comes along once in a while. If you find one, the benefits it offers you will compensate you for any aspects of it you don't like so much. You don't tolerate your boss because you don't care about your job, so find a job you do care about and you'll become more tolerant!

On the basis of a small sample, these jobs you can easily get, don't seem to be great jobs for you once the organisation as a whole is taken into account. So you might be kidding yourself by thinking "I can solve this problem by leaving", when the same problem will recur wherever you go. You've found it easy to get jobs working for people you don't respect, how about taking on the task of finding a job working for someone you do?

I'm always willing to compromise if there's an obvious benefit or problem being solved

I think this attitude warrants checking, since it amounts to "I'm always willing to compromise if I broadly agree with the goals I'm compromising with". Well, no, that's not compromising. Compromising is when you're willing to do something that doesn't have an obvious benefit in your opinion, but where someone else's opinion differs from yours.

Finally, consider that you might be wrong about being better than your boss at making these decisions. If so then by resenting any boss who disagrees with you and leaving every job in which that happens, you are dooming yourself to be unhappy in every job you ever have, because reasonable people will disagree with you about certain things where their knowledge, intuition and abilities exceed yours.

  • I especially like calling out the OP's apparent perspective of compromise. What he described was "making informed tradeoffs", not compromise. – Squirrelsama Sep 21 '15 at 2:51
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It's not really your position to be questioning your managers leverage. Question his methods certainly, question his logic even, but not his leverage. And taking a book into meetings? That's beyond rude. Your best idea would be to talk to him about your issues straight up, if you don't care about keeping the job, you have nothing to lose. Currently if I was your manager you would appear to be a troublesome employee without a good team attitude. No one is irreplaceable, and some are more trouble than they're worth. He's possibly working on that equation right now.

Sorry if that seems a bit strong, but that's how I see it.

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    Question was not "how can I be polite?" – stackexchanger Sep 17 '15 at 20:36
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Every new manager tries to make the Team his/her own by making changes - this is usually just a settling in period and processes that were lost that were good will probably make a reappearance, those that don't were probably not that good in the first place. So some patience is necessary after every change. Yes, there will be things that you don't agree with, but unless they are major I would say changing your job is a little bit of an over reaction.

You mentioned that colleagues also reacted in the same way after your first move - did you actually discuss the current changes with your colleagues? A united front may be a better way of dealing with this.

A book to a meeting - sorry, but not a good idea - all you have done is prove you are an employee who feels he is more important than anyone else and is showing not only your manager, but any of the other managers at this meeting that you have no respect for them or the rest of the meeting attendees. They may already be thinking that you are more trouble than they need because of this. One public statement sticks in the mind.

Rather why don't you review the meeting agenda before hand and suggest that full attendance may only be needed for certain point and these could be covered at the start or end of the time? Maybe add a section on process changes to the agenda to give others a forum to speak their feelings?

Be proactive rather than reactionary - gain respect of your management team and they will be more likely to listen to your ideas on the changes. Respect goes both ways and often oils the wheels.

And before anyone crys 'Management' I am not - I am a techy who has been working with non-tech managers for over 30 years!

6

Let me sum it up:

You complain that you don't understand the reasons and benefits for the changes they propose. Then they add you to a meeting, where all these things are discussed and then you complain that you are sitting in a meeting where managers deal with manager things.

You can't have the cake and eat it, too.

Either you just accept their decisions how to change your software, because they discussed this issue in boring meetings over and over and finally came to a resolution and the only acceptable reason to object is if there is some technological problem.

Or you become a manager and discuss and influence the tasks for your software with them, with all the boring and annoying responsibilities.

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    Where do you get that these request he received are discussed at the meeting? What he said was answer a rare question. – paparazzo Sep 16 '15 at 8:02
  • It would be strange if a regular two hour team meeting would include managers but not the one of his team. As his manager is there, the team is there, it is just very likely that such issues are discussed there or at least that this is the place where they would be discussed, if one participant wouldn't choose to read a book and wait for a question. – John Hammond Sep 16 '15 at 8:34
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    @LarsFriedrich - From a developer's point of view, 2 hours where all the managers were locked in a room together would be a godsend. 2 full hours where you could concentrate on work and not be interrupted. I can think of nothing closer to Hell than to have that opportunity stolen and to be thrown in the room with them. – Wesley Long Sep 16 '15 at 16:12
  • "It would be strange if a regular two hour team meeting would include managers but not the one of his team." Why would it be strange for managers to regularly meet together without dragging their entire team along with them? That seems like a perfectly normal thing for management to do. I would say dragging their teams along would be the much more unusual situation. Normally, the lower-level managers meet with their own teams and then report to higher-level management at separate meetings. – reirab Sep 16 '15 at 20:09
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    @LarsFriedrich Yes, he did use the phrase 'team meeting,' but it seems that his problem is exactly that a management meeting is being called a 'team meeting' and the team is being drug along pointlessly instead of meeting in separate actual team meetings. – reirab Sep 16 '15 at 21:00

protected by enderland Sep 16 '15 at 18:57

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