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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bully President

by Unanimous
(Anytown, TX)

I have volunteered for this nonprofit organization for several months now. Everyone in the board was elected by the stakeholders. We are all equal in status, only different in title and role. None of us get paid for this, not even the president. Yet, this is how this president wrote to his board member.

In his own words...

"You are a soldier, it's no brainer that you must obey authority and follow the proper chain of command and know your place..."

"I made the point I need to make as president to an insubordinate (and non-performing) director. It's not my habit to answer to stupid, groundless accusations or personal attacks."

"As for your immature, disruptive and irresponsible behavior, I have tolerated it in the name of unity and in order to focus my time and attention on solving bigger organizational problems and implementing important community projects."

Honestly, what he said is not true, but nonetheless, it hurts the member psychologically and emotionally. It's insulting and humiliating.

What to do with this president? Please ADVICE!!!

Comments for Bully President

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sorry; but I only see half a story… a President of a non profit wrote that 3 paragraph letter (as you wrote it) to a director on the board? So how did you get involved; you who are a volunteer?

I don't understand what came before, where you fit in, and why this is upsetting…

I understand calling anyone names (immature and disruptive) is emotionally upsetting 'for a bit' … but I don't know what brought that to be written. Are you the director he wrote to? I need more info.

If you don't like a volunteer organization without pay…don't volunteer; Walk out. I DON'T understand.

Don't Own It
by: Linda Guirey

Without all the necessary details, it is hard to make judgement and I am one to encourage people not to assume or pass judgement without all the facts. What I do see is correspondence of a poorly written nature with aggressive language used. The important thing to remember, is that the person who wrote this - these words are their thoughts, written on paper. You cannot control someone else's thoughts, words, actions or beliefs. The one thing anyone should do, when they hear or read criticism - is a quick self-reflection. "Is there any truth in that at all?" This is done inside your head, no-one else needs to know. If there is no truth in it - "Don't Own It"! Don't own someone else's thoughts. You may feel an emotional reaction, but as soon as you feel that - tell yourself not to own it. You always have a choice - a choice of attitude at the very least. You choose your thoughts and if you don't like what is happening, you could always find another organisation to volunteer for.

We spend a lot of time owning what other people think of us, defining ourselves by what others think of us instead of being confident and assured that we are doing the best that we can, of being ourselves. No-one can do a better job of being you, than you.

You have the power and ability to think any thought you choose and that same power and ability to dismiss any thought you choose - if your thoughts are not serving you, or your happiness, change them and don't let other people affect your happiness or your life. Make the choices that will take you where you want to go.


Good points Linda; similar to mine with the added Don't own another's perceptions aimed 'supposedly' at our head.

Good point to ask if there is any truth to it; and if so; bring a dialogue to ensue as to how we can better serve. IF there is some (even a tad) truth to our bully's ire.

If there is no basis at all for the anger; correct you are NEVER react or defend one's own self as we play right into 'the bully's snare'

Now; I am old enough to recall that when someone SCREAMED in the face of a work subordinate on an open floor in front of others; the one who was reprimanded for uncouth and unprofessional business image (that subordinate is a customer in the making or knows potential customers in making) That SCREAMER would be spoken to (behind a closed door and not in screams)

And while we should never level ourselves to 'the level of a screamer' THE WORSE thing to do…asking 'why that tone' to a manager who we know heard; would in old days get a polite response of "Yes; it was inappropriate but…and explanation of the cause…to remedy objectively"

Now 'subordinate' cannot even ask WHY…they are cast out of the employ because of questioning authority. Immature and uneducated are in small and mid size businesses overall; there only to pay their mortgage, rent, credit card debt, and half and step kids and divorce payments. In other words; their anger is at their own MESSED UP lives; released onto the first easy target.

And you are correct; all we can do is allow them to be as the adolescent children they are, with understanding there will come a final judgment they can't avoid. Pray for them.

Tis a sad and sin filled world and the good suffer most by it. IT'S CALLED A CROSS.

Take a step back..
by: PastorJoeP

I would definitely approach this situation as confused with the individual.

I would state that you feel he may have misconstrued you with someone else?

The individual may not understand your role in the nonprofit org.

Just respond if it was a nice email. Ask for further discussion. Your adults. Like the other posters said there isn't much there to provide you better assistance.

I would suggest taking a step back and just approach them with kid gloves and just state in a positive light that you feel there may be miscommunication or misunderstanding and you just want everyone on the same page.

This way you can then approach it as the correspondence was cutoff or mention that the email you received was cut off and would like to sit and discuss any concerns they may have.

Also if you do sit with them document, document, document if this turns out to be a bullying situation.

Best of Luck..

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