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Do's and Don'ts for Requesting a New Manager at Work

You may have a good working relationship with your coworkers, but it might be a different story with your manager.

Depending on your company, there may be two or three managers in the office; and each manager may be responsible for a certain number of employees. This is an efficient arrangement, as each manager can focus their attention on select employees.

In a perfect world, everyone would have an excellent relationship with their manager. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world; and sometimes, personalities clash. Despite your best efforts, you and your manager may have a tumultuous working relationship. If you don’t want to seek new employment, asking for a new manager is your best bet.


This isn’t the most comfortable discussion to have, but there are ways to soften the blow.

#1 Do ask Around and Speak With Other Managers

Before approaching your existing manager and asking to be reassigned, speak with other managers in your office. If you explain the situation, they might offer advice on the best way to handle your issue. Additionally, you can learn whether another manager is able to add you to his team. Unfortunately, if the other managers are overwhelmed, they might be unable to take on an additional employee.

#2 Don’t put off Scheduling a Meeting With Your Current Manager

If another manager agrees to work with you, schedule a private meeting with your current manager. The sooner you schedule this meeting the better. You do not want your existing manager to learn about the new arrangement through the grapevine. Rumors can spread fast in offices; therefore, you should schedule this meeting within one or two days after meeting with another manager. If possible, ask this manager to sit in on the meeting.

#3 Do Explain Yourself

Given the situation, your current manager deserves a detailed explanation. Start the discussion by offering sincere commendation. You may not always see eye to eye, but he or she undoubtedly has qualities that you admire. Thank your manager for giving you an opportunity over the past months or years, and then explain your reason for moving on. Be honest. Maybe you need a different management style, or perhaps personality differences triggered too many conflicts.

#4 Don’t be Condescending or Rude

Regardless of the relationship you've had with your manager in the past, do not be condescending or rude during the meeting. Speak in a low tone, maintain good eye contact and avoid negative body language, such as crossing your arms or pointing your fingers. This type of behavior can put your manager on the defense and spark an argument.

Even if your manager doesn't respond favorably, maintain your composure and professionalism. To alleviate ill feelings, agree to stay on and help train a new hire.

Unfortunately, you won’t always get along with all of your coworkers. However, working under a manager who makes your life miserable can zap your joy and energy. Looking for new employment is one option; but if you like your job, requesting a new manager might be the perfect solution.

Image Credit: Flickr