You're the "top dog," so act like it
Holly, while your team members may be disappointed they weren't chosen for your position -- or may resent you for being an outsider -- they don't have the right to be anything but professional toward you. So, don't let them get to you, and remember it's not your fault they've been acting so inappropriately.
That said, how do get your team to "play nice"? Our readers suggest you:
Confront the offenders individually
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People with overactive lips usually enjoy an audience. Show your professionalism by refusing to sink to their level.
Kim, an exhibits manager, gives her opinion on this approach.
"You don't appreciate someone making insulting remarks about you in front of other people, so don't chastise any of these miscreants around anyone else. That would only make the rest of your team members feel sorry for them. Instead, tactfully go up to the major troublemaker on a day he or she hasn't made a disparaging remark, and say something like 'Could I see you in my office for a second?'
"After the two of you are alone, be calm and direct. Explain that you fully understand the meaning of his or her indirect insults, that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable and that it must stop immediately. Don't accuse, don't cajole, don't apologize for getting the job you now hold. Be firm and, most of all, professional, so you won't come off as a wimp or a bully, just a manager who deserves respect and will not accept anything else. Chances are that person will tell the others what happened or will be shamed into changing his or her behavior. Either way, the others will get the message, and you'll come out a winner."
Speak to your team as a group
Since it appears that more than one person is taking potshots at you, addressing this behavior with all your team members at the same time may be your best bet, if you handle it the right way.
An anonymous reader explains how this should be done.
"Undoubtedly, one person has made more hurtful comments than the others, and you may want to target him or her when you talk to your team. Don't. As you speak to them, keep your eyes moving from one person to the next, and don't mention any insult in particular. Simply explain that you understand it's difficult getting a new boss and changing the way things have 'always been done' but that, in the end, you're the one responsible for your team's final product and therefore they will have to follow your lead. Also state that while you think some good-natured kidding around is OK, insulting people isn't, and it won't be tolerated, period."
Ignore the remarks
Sticks and stones. Sticks and stones. Remember no one's insults can hurt you, unless you let them. So, if you're the nonconfrontational type, simply ignore the nasty comments.
As Amanda, an exhibits manager, says:
"Sometimes people act badly just to see what kind of a reaction they can get out of you. Will you slink away? Will you look embarrassed? Will you stammer out a half-baked response? If you don't react to the backhanded remarks, you take all the fun out of their being rude and they'll probably start behaving better."
Some people, for whatever reason, think they have the right to subtly attack others. Wrong. And you shouldn't let this kind of behavior affect you. Speak to the troublemakers individually or as a group. Or act like you either don't hear or don't care what they have to say, and wait for them to grow up. Do your job, prove yourself and the situation is bound to get better.