A few important bits of context:
- I am a team leader for a team of 4 + 1 temp.
- We have a few projects (reports, analyses for our department) in our pipeline and our director mostly lets me prioritize them.
- From mid March to mid April, we had a few intense weeks of developing new dashboards and reports to answer questions from our management about our market.
- Before I was team leader I was an analyst on this team, along with another person whom joined in the same position a few months prior to me. That person also applied for the team leader position and obviously did not get it.
Now, today during a department meeting that person took a jab at me by saying that we would have been better prepared for this additional reporting to our management had we not lacked vision. This statement assumes that this reporting was not thought of or and/or that we could have been ready earlier, which I believe is wrong on both accounts.
Nevertheless, this type of behaviour tends to get me flustered and I typically don't react immediately as I don't know how to respond. When I talk to them afterwards and ask if they are dissatisfied with something, they generally tend to dismiss the discussion and say that nothing's wrong / I misunderstood them.
I think not reacting to this undermines me greatly as it shows others I tolerate this behaviour. On the other end, as I get flustered I'm often afraid if I call them out during the event I will create an open conflict during a department meeting, which might make look even worse if they deny my understanding of what they said.
My question: Are there ways to directly address the behaviour as it happens without making it worse ?