I am working as a Senior Software Engineer. I am also a module lead and am leading a team of 2.

One of the guys is very abrasive and shows a reprehensible and arrogant attitude towards the fellow team mates. This goes on always. I tried to appease with him, but even with me he shows the same head-weighted attitude.

This is causing a great problem with respect to the harmony of the team.

But my manager (project manager of our team) is unaware of his attitude. He keeps applauding and lauding this guy just because he is a good performer.

As such with PM this arrogant guy behaves properly and with very kind and ethical manner.

I have an opportunity to expose his derisive behaviour to the manager during appraisals. But I am not sure how far my PM would accept my feedback. He is so very biased to this guy.

So, how to handle this kind of a situation. I am really feeling very bad for my team is really hardworking and good team players are not getting that recognition. But this mean guy just because he sits next to the manager he keeps getting all the attention and appreciation in the team.

4 Answers 4


Let it pass. Don't get involved.

A wise friend of mine once said to never wrestle with a pig. The only thing that happens is the you get dirty and the pig has a good laugh.

  • +1 on this! Was going to draft something similar. I like the saying! Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 14:07
  • Well said. Thanks for such a nice answer!!!! Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 15:44
  • 1
    Although I believe that 'Let it be' approach is less painful, I'd get crazy for working on an environment I'd consider unfair.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 17:32
  • sorry but I would not agree to a "let it pass" approach ,especially if I am convinced with my observations & evidence that the behaviour is being detrimental to the morale of the team ("This is causing a great problem with respect to the harmony of the team.") , I prefer to bring conflict out in the open. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 2:12
  • 2
    He could've let it pass but unfortunately the OP is involved because he is the lead and has a responsibility for both the affected and the "affectee", so he can't really ignore the problem because the situation might blow out of proportions and right into his face later. If it is possible; a better idea would be to escalate this to your superiors and let them handle the politics. If you've escalated, then no one can blame you for passivity.
    – Spoike
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 20:00

I assume that you've already had one-on-one with 'the guy' and it didn't bring expected results.

Wherever the root cause of this situation is (it may be in your behavior, your boss behavior, organization rules etc) the good way is to analyze problematic situations from the expert position.

Expert doesn't blame anybody, he talks about facts and it's consequences. He uses tools (i.e. root-cause analysis) so to make sure, that the problem is thoroughly analyzed and as impartial as possible. Even if expert want to say something personally, he puts it impersonally, i.e. instead of "you often say that Peter is lazy" he says "there are often situations when Peter hears he's lazy".

So what would I do is to convince PM to arrange a meeting where everybody (it's a must) from the project can state their issues, so you may present your observations.

If the problem lies actually in guy's behavior, then this should easily come out and PM should help resolving it. If the PM doesn't react then I think you have to escalate (reporting the same observations of course).

  1. Gather facts to prove your observations/allegations

  2. Gather facts & data to prove how it has been detrimental to the team's outlook and morale

  3. Loaded with these facts approach the person , and try and convince him to make changes to his behavior

  4. If that does not help,it is time to bring conflict into the open and hold an open house discussion in front of the PM,him and all the persons involved in the observations/allegations

  • 1
    I'd go for this approach as well. I believe Working on an environment where people are better evaluated by the amount of attention one's get from the manager rather than self performance would attract only mediocre people.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 19:29

How you deal with this depends so much on the PM's personality and your relationship with him. But if it's open enough and you feel like you can trust him, probably what would be best is to first go him privately and bring up the issue from the perspective of you having a difficult time working with the team member and discussing it with the PM in order to try to help yourself figure out how to make your work environment more pleasant.

I wouldn't suggest making it sound like you're telling on your coworker. That probably won't make you come off looking too great.

Anyway, that's where I'd start.

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