What would you do ????

on Sep 09, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

I currently have received a position that puts me in a managerial/leadership position. I am very grateful to have received it, and I worked so hard to get it.

The issue is that my team (that works for me) comprises of some individuals who competed with me for my job, and didn't get it. I can sense from the resentment and coldness from them that they feel better or more qualified for my job. While I respect them tremendously as my team... I am finding it hard to earn their respect as their leader.

What would you do in this situation?

13 Replies

uncomfortable on Sep 09, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

Hmmm, uncomfortable situation. I guess what it comes down to is you having confidence in yourself knowing that your boss chose YOU as the best person for the position, despite what your team members may think. B/c that's the way the cookie crumbled for them, they need to suck it up and continue to perform in their current capacity. If they can't do that and their behavior affects the cohesiveness of the team, there needs to be a meeting. Your boss chose you for this position, so its your responsibility to assert your leadership and quell your team members' jealousy and resentment before it grows beyond a personal issue and affects the team and its performance.

So in all, it comes down to you. You have to step up and exercise the strength and leadership your boss saw in you to be successful in your new position. Good luck!! :-)

one more thing on Sep 09, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

As Donald Trump would say, "Its nothing personal, its just business." You can do it!

Scents Of Peace
I agree and do it soon on Sep 10, 2007 @ 12:53 am

Also sometimes you have to appeal to their egos as well, by complementing them on their strengths and how "together" you comprise a very effective team and value their input, etc. etc. You get the idea . . .

In the end, you may find some either make a lateral transition or leave entirely. Don't take it personal, that's just part of growth for them too.

I agree w/ Spotty about discussing it before it gets out of control and remember at this stage - never underestimate someone's intentions and watch your back. Do this with confidence and your leadership will shine through !

Congrats on your accomplishment and keep us posted !

Earning respect on Sep 10, 2007 @ 02:21 pm

I think you basically said it in your original comment, "Anon" - you have to earn their respect. They would be suspicious of an outsider coming in as their boss, too. It will take time and you may never win them all over, but as spotty and scents already pointed out, you need to take charge in a firm and professional way, and don't be apologetic or sell yourself short - e.g. don't say "I'm sure we are all equally qualified" or "I'm not sure why he chose me above the rest of you", etc. This only undermines your position. It's not about a power trip, it's about being an effective team leader by assuming command, whether you're quaking inside or not. You ARE their boss, now act like it and keep it all professional. If they can't take it, they weren't meant for the heat of the manager's position anyway.

Talk to your new team on Sep 10, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

I've been in a similar situation and the new boss came in and just basically ignored everyone for the first month while she got settled, which led to a lot of the resentment.

People will respect you more if they can see that you respect them and take the time to sit down with them to learn about how they fit into the organization. I also agree with some of the other reviewers that you should also consider their egos and slowly earn their respect. It will all work out. Congratulations!

Scents Of Peace
Another perspective : on Sep 11, 2007 @ 12:11 am

I wanted to expand on what mamaluv said "If they can't take it, they weren't meant for the heat of the manager's position anyway." This is so true. . .

Also, good leaders also know how to be led. If need be, discuss it with other member's of (higher) management to see how they reacted in similar situations. There are many rungs to a corporate ladder and much can be learned from your mentor's experiences. Who do you admire for their management style ? Is it effective for the company? Are they respected by their peers as well as their team ? Try to model yourself but remember that you were selected because of leadership you already possessed. In time others will be admiring your style of management . . .


Thanks a lot! on Sep 11, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

Okay you ladies are truly amazing. This is all excellent advice and I am grateful for it.

But one thing I wanted to ask is, what if you had really just one member of your team, who is a really competitive person. In this case, you know that she competed with you for this job. And you got it instead. So now, she works for you.

I know that she thinks that she was better suited to the position, but really I do know that I got the job for a reason.

But I keep on getting the impression that she is competing with me even still, and trying to prove to my supervisor that she is a better fit.

I know that this is somewhat ridiculous of her, because my supervisor has told me that I received the job for the reason that I fit all the criteria that they were looking for.

I am a nice person, but I don't want to be walked all over and I want to show that I can handle the situation in a professional manner.

Am I being ridiculous for feeling this way? And how do I deal with Miss. Super-Competitive?

Don't sell your instinct short on Sep 12, 2007 @ 11:52 am

Chances are, you are reading the situation 100% correctly. If you were in her shoes, wouldn't you be feeling similar? For her to continue with a competitive, one-upping attitude however, is obviously totally unprofessional.

I doubt her machinations will get her anywhere. If your supervisor was unsure about your suitability versus hers, he/she would have pushed off the decision or put someone else entirely in your spot. Don't assume for one second that they based this on an eeny meeny miney mo game. Therefore, you have nothing to fear, as long as you perform your job to the best of your abilities and can impress based on your achievements. If you flop, it would be because you are ultimately unsuited and not because of anything she is doing.

With this in mind, try to brush her attitude off. How long have you had this position? If you are new in this role, you need to give it a little more time. She will carry this grudge for a while until the 'everyday' sets in and she'll move on. Be confident in your own abilities. Remain professional and treat her kindly, but as your subordinate. Putting her gently in her place is what is expected of you. Your supervisor will be looking for this particular leadership quality in you. I also watch the Apprentice, and one thing that always ticked off The Donald was when a project manager didn't take control and shut down his/her underlings.

Act as though her sniping doesn't affect you. If it gets out of hand, you may want to talk to your boss, but understand that it may come across like you don't know how to handle it - so use this as a last resort. This is an opportunity for growth for you, too, so appreciate it for that and just try to survive the next little while. Either she will get over it, or she'll ask for another position or be fired. It's not really your problem, it's hers.

Ali de Bold
Take her for lunch on Sep 12, 2007 @ 02:43 pm

This may be really awkward, but I would treat her to a lunch (company expense, n'est pas?) and just talk about how you would like the two of you to work together.

Don't negotiate with her, just tell her you know she went for the role and that you hope the two of you will be able to work well together despite the fact that she didn't get it.

If she can see that you are treating her with respect about the situation she will probably appreciate it and possibly even admire you for it, which will make working together that much easier.

If she declines, then just ignore any pettyness on her part. She'll either get over it or move on and find another job. Either way it's a win for you.

The best place to concentrate your energies is on doing the best job you can and not allowing the disappointment of others to affect you.

What's been happening.. on Sep 14, 2007 @ 07:00 pm

You ladies are so wonderful! I appreciate all this advice!

I have spoken to my supervisor about it (without mentioning any of the names of the people) and she did tell me that I was hired for a reason, and that I showed qualities in my interview that they had lacked.

This is a new position for me. My supervisor said that they may just be trying to push my buttons in the beginning, to understand why I got it instead of them. I do want to take control, but I also want to show that I value them and appreciate them being there.

I have observed this competitive woman closely, so that I can try and understand her a little bit better. She naturally is very competitive. At the same time, I have noticed her strengths that can really benefit the team. At the same time I am able to see why she is not qualified for my position.

I get the feeling that she is realizing that her attitude towards me is getting old, and that my supervisor doesn't really care whether or not she is "more fit" for the position, because she did not hire her.

I am going to do my best in this job, and I will keep you updated!

Thanks again for the advice!

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