SC: Being bullied is a very disempowering activity, whoever's on the receiving end of it. For a company secretary to stand up in their own shoes in an environment [where] they're being bullied by a chair particularly, or by the CEO, number two, or senior independent director or others, is a very, very, very, very difficult position to get out from under. Sometimes [it] will require some external coaching and support to the individual receiving the bullying.
The other aspect is to bring in an external board evaluator, senior independent director, somebody independent of the activity, who has the influencing power, ability to have the conversation, who can read the room and actually give an independent view on what is happening. Make it obvious to those in the room that kind of behaviour – the way an enraged bull behaves – isn't really conducive to working as a team or being successful as a leader of the business. Help them to understand what their behaviour correlates to.
If you took another correlation, for example, if the conductor of an orchestra leapt off the podium and grabbed the violin, or cello, or anything out of somebody's hand, and tried to say, ‘this is how it's done’ in the middle of an orchestra delivery, I don't think the audience or anybody in the orchestra would really appreciate what had just happened, which is really what is actually happening. Likening [the situation to] other things where you wouldn't expect that behaviour to occur, helps them mirror their own activities in a way that they can maybe understand them better. [Use] case studies, other examples, rather than front-on-front confrontation.