Dear Coach: Should I Listen to Other’s Opinions?

April 14, 2023   |   Lesli Mones

Dear Coach,

There’s been a reorganization at my company, and I’ve been presented with an opportunity for a new role; however, the manager is someone who has a reputation for being difficult to work with—demanding, micromanaging, and really hard-driving. Everyone I talk to has cautioned me about working for her, whether directly or indirectly.

All that being said, this new role is a step up for me, working in the business unit I want to be in and doing the work I want to be doing, and as the cherry on top, it offers better pay. I haven’t met or spoken with this new potential manager, but, as you know, your immediate boss has the biggest impact on your experience at work, and I’m afraid she might negate all those benefits. 

Should I ignore all the cautionary tales and go for my dream role, or stay put and wait for a better manager to come along?


Overwhelmed with Opinions


First, let’s unpack this. Your question tells us that:

  • You are over-valuing other people’s opinions, given that you haven’t even met this person but are seriously considering not taking the role.
  • You may be underestimating that every relationship has its own chemistry—as well as underestimating your individual relationship capacity and skills.

So, exactly how is your problem a power problem? A few thoughts:

  • The situation is causing you to underestimate your capacity to craft your own relationship.
  • You could be sabotaging your own career development by elevating others’ opinions over yours.

What’s the Solution?

To move forward, you first need to do some self-reflection. Put “everyone else’s” opinions out of your head and think about why you want the role, what you want the trajectory of your career to look like, and if/how those two ideas match up. This will help ground you in your personal goals versus just reacting to what others have to say.

Once you’ve done that, some next steps include:

  • Determine your bottom line. Specifically, what do you need to hear from this potential new manager that will let you know you can or cannot do the work you want to do in the new role? 
  • Meet the person. And when you do, be sure to ask the questions you need to ask (from step one) to find out if there’s good chemistry or co-working potential.
  • Share your career goals with this person and gauge their reaction.

At the end of the day, you must do your due diligence in determining if this role and the new manager are a good fit for you because you’re the one who will have to wake up and report to work every day. Allow yourself to be open to the possibility that you and your relationship capacities are unique; you just might be surprised!


Each month we answer questions we often get from the leaders we work with and unpack how at the end of the day, every problem is a power problem. If you have an issue you just can’t solve, get in touch! We’d love to answer your questions in an upcoming Dear Coach post. Find us at [email protected], or on LinkedInFacebook, or Twitter.