Bullying in the boardroom isn't just confined to one type of behavior. From boundary stomping to shadowy cabals, there's a variety of ways a board member can disrupt the harmony and effectiveness of an organization. In this sequel to our previous blog, we'll explore five new types of boardroom bullies and offer practical solutions to handle them effectively.

1. Boundary Stomper

Problem: This board member has a habit of overstepping boundaries, encroaching on areas outside their expertise or authority. They may micromanage staff or meddle in operational matters best left to management.

Solution: Lay down the law (nicely, of course). Make sure everyone knows their role and sticks to it. Clear roles and responsibilities are your best friends here. If someone steps out of line, remind them gently but firmly where the boundaries are. Sometimes, a little training or orientation can work wonders.

2. The Godfather

Problem: This board member rules through intimidation, creating shadowy cabals and wielding influence behind closed doors.

Solution: Shine a spotlight on decision-making. Encourage transparency and openness in board discussions and decision-making processes. Foster a culture where every board member feels empowered to speak up and express their opinions without fear of retribution. Address any instances of intimidation or bullying swiftly and decisively.

3. Clique Commander

Problem: A group of board members, whether formal or informal, makes pre-determined decisions without involving the rest of the board. Other board members feel sidelined and excluded from the decision-making process.

Solution: Break down the barriers to collaboration. Encourage open communication and collaboration among all board members. Establish clear protocols for decision-making and ensure that all board members have equal opportunities to contribute and participate in discussions. Address any cliques or factions that may emerge, promoting a culture of inclusivity and transparency.

4. Resource Exploiter

Problem: This board member prioritizes personal agendas over organizational needs, advocating for pet projects that don’t align with the organization’s mission or budget.

Solution: Implement transparent decision-making processes and criteria for resource allocation. Prioritize projects aligned with the organization's mission and long-term sustainability.

5. North Korean Leader

Problem: This board member thinks they run the show, making unilateral decisions, managing the CEO like a personal assistant, and ignoring the rest of the team.

Solution: Strength in numbers! Organize a listening session with the rest of the board and the offender. Make it clear how their behavior impacts the team and the organization. Use collective feedback to show that this isn’t just one person’s issue—it’s a team concern. Foster a collaborative environment where every voice is heard.

Ready to tackle boardroom bullies head-on? By implementing these solutions and fostering a culture of respect and collaboration, organizations can promote effective governance and organizational success.

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By addressing these boardroom bullies head-on, you can ensure a productive, positive environment where everyone works together for the common good. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch—take action today!