As a member of a small team of six communication professionals, I value working independently while being a strong team player. I enjoy training colleagues and in particular mentoring younger team members on using various software. However, I have recently been on the receiving end of 'sneaky' competitiveness from a younger colleague who is one rung below me. We both are on fixed term contracts.
When this colleague first came on board early this year, I patiently trained her on how to undertake various tasks for which she was responsible. Now, I am training her in other tasks as requested by my boss. However, the young girl tends to put me down in the office. Firstly, the deputy-director had sent an email out to others outside of our team and across the organisation to tell them to seek my advice and training on producing a particular kind of report. The young girl said in front of other colleagues: "How can you train them on how to do the report when you barely know it yourself. Plus you are supposed to teach me."
When I do train her, she says things like, "the more you teach you will get better at it" and loudly for the others in the team to hear. This extends beyond the report. When finishing with dealing with clients on the phone, the young girl says things to me like: "That sounds difficult. Why do you have to take so long on all that?"
Her continuous put-downs and constant negative talking about my work has required me to stand up for myself. Something, when put on the spot, I'm not the best at especially when I am busily concentrating on my work. At first, I thought I could ignore it and keep working but now I'm starting to see that she is playing dirty office politics.
What is your advice on how to professionally respond to these negative comments?