I'm a part of development team of 4. Our manager is a good manager in my opinion.

Our manager depends a lot on X, but she keeps bad mouthing him behind his back; she doesn't like his personality, his decisions and the way he manages us. And to make it worse, the other two members of the team learned to say the same about him (she has a very strong personality and they have subordinate-personalities), behind his back, and in the presence of colleagues from other departments.

Though, colleagues from other departments compliment him and express good opinions about him.

The strange thing is, our manager previously mediated to defend X because she got fired from the company!! He convinced the company to keep her and lower her salary, she accepted it because she needs the job. ( no one mentioned the reasons, but I personally doubt it's because of her inappropriate attitude and work ethics that our manager doesnt now about because he is remotely managing us)

Now, she is bad mouthing him and betraying his trust!!

I defend him when I can, but they dislike so much because of this; I don't care if they don't like me because of defending people.. but the situation is ugly. Recently I started to walk away when they start acting like this.

So, is it a good idea to express the situation to my manager without mentioning names?

I want to do something to stop it but still not ruin their careers, what to do??

I've had an intolerable in my Ex job! so I really appreciate my current manager.

UPDATE: strangely, today I received an aggressive email from on of my team members (my manager was copied in it), she is angry way I made "code update" that "we both" previously agreed it should be done, but she did it and did not inform me that she already did it!

Now she's angry at me! and my manager thinks that I'm not communicating properly with my team! (The reason I don't blend in much is what I mentioned above, I have a different personality and mentality than theirs)

I need your consultation about the issue again after this update, how can I explain my situation to the manager?!


4 Answers 4


You best bet is not to get involved in other peoples squabbles - the only person that will get hurt in one way or another is yourself

Why mention it to your manager? Either he knows or if he does not it does not appear to be affecting his ability at the job.

I think you have the right attitude - just walk away.


Yeeeccchhh, that's a rough one.

First of all, you can't tell your manager and not tell him who. The only way he can address the issue (if he's going to) is by talking with the people involved. And, the first thing he's going to say if you come to him without naming people is to ask who it is, then he'll get mad when you don't tell him.

That being said... telling your manager is probably going to be bad for you, unless you can really trust your manager. It might look like you're trying to involve your manager in a personal tiff you're having with X, and X can simply deny saying anything bad about the manager. The manager obviously thinks well of X, so who's he going to trust, you or X? At which point even if your manager doesn't name you, X is almost certainly going to know you were the one to snitch on her. If your manager doesn't take stern action, X is going to make your life difficult.

On the other hand, these kinds of people are incredibly toxic to a company if left unchecked. They can lead to a general unwarranted resentment against management, which erodes trust and team cohesion. Ideally, the manager would notice and correct the issue himself, but since he's remote, that seems unlikely.

Personally, I would handle this in one of three ways:

  1. Tell the manager that X (and, to a lesser extant, the other two) are unfairly criticizing other people in the company behind their backs, and spreading these criticisms to other teams. You have tried speaking to them directly about it, but they refuse to change their behavior. This is making you uncomfortable, and you thought he should know. Do not say that the person they criticized was your manager.

  2. Is there a local manager who has heard X (and others) criticizing your manager (and that you trust)? You could ask this hypothetical person to inform your manager. Since it will be coming from your manager's peer, it will have a much different feel than if you informed your manager yourself.

  3. Do nothing. I would only go down this path if you really don't trust someone for options 1 or 2. This will only get worse. It already sounds like it's basically your team's culture to bash on the manager, and by not participating you're positioning yourself as an outsider on the team. You will likely not last long in this scenario, since your teammates will force you out as not a fit with the team culture.

In either case of 1 or 2, expect X (at the very least) to be fired. If your manager is a saint, maybe they'll try and train that attitude out of her, but it sounds like they already wanted to fire her for some other reason, and I doubt they'd want her around after hearing about this. This is a good thing. First, it gets a large source of negativity and gossip out of your company. Second, this won't "ruin her career"; she'll just have to get a job somewhere else. Hopefully, she'll also learn a lesson about gossiping, but that's mostly up to her.


If she is even bad mouthing to other departments it will come back sooner or later. She will start to criticism him to his face. I think this will take care of itself.

If it gets to the level that she is undermining him to other departments then it would be time to step in and report. Let's say she says he is incompetent to another department. That is the time to report it and you have the person from the other department to corroborate.


Be true to yourself. Act decently and behave decently. Speak respectfully to all, but don't just walk away: smile and say something positive about whoever they are criticizing, or say something positive about the situation. To walk away is to be complicit.

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