Dealing with an insecure boss

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Vocabulary - leadership


talking about leadership


In this lesson, students watch a video about dealing with insecure bosses and learn some vocabulary while talking about leadership. They also discuss two case studies

C1 / Advanced
C2 / Proficiency
45 minFlipped LessonUnlimited Plan

This is a Flipped Classroom lesson plan. In a nutshell, it means that the first part of the lesson needs to be done by students at home. Learn more about flipped classroom and how we implement it in these lesson plans in our post.


In the pre-class part of the lesson, students look at five characteristics and choose those they think insecure bosses have. Then, they watch the first part of the video and check their ideas. After that, they watch the first part of the video again and complete gaps in sentences with missing words (e.g. shoot down, retaliate, push back, amp up). The vocabulary will be used while talking about leadership in the in-class part of the lesson. Finally, students look at lists or causes and effects and match each cause with its effect. The situations described refer to dealing with difficult bosses and contain the new vocabulary. 


Vocabulary & Video

The in-class part of the lesson starts with a warm-up activity, students discuss some questions related to management. Then, students need to complete gaps in questions with one word each. The task allows students to revise the vocabulary from the pre-class part of the lesson. Students also discuss some questions. Before watching the second part of the video, students compile a list of their ideas on how to deal with an insecure boss. The teacher can choose to ask students to do this task in pairs. Then, students watch the second part of the video and take notes on the strategies mentioned in it. 

Talking about leadership

After the video, students discuss advantages and negative effects of the strategies mentioned. They also explain in what ways their ideas are better. While doing the task, students need to use the vocabulary from the lesson. The last task involves two case studies which are used as a prompt for talking about leadership. Students read the case studies and choose the most reasonable decision for each one. They also provide some arguments in support of their choice. The task can be organised into a group activity and the teacher’s version on the worksheet lists the necessary steps. 


This worksheet includes an additional task that you can use as homework or revision. It’s available in the teacher’s version of the worksheet. You can print it, cut it up and hand it out to your students. It’s also included in the e-lesson plan, if you teach online.




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Leave a Reply

  1. Sam O Neill

    Hi, great lesson. Just one thing, on page 16, ‘Backfire’ is shown in the sentence. I’m guessing it’s supposed to be revealed by the student.
    Thanks again!

    1. Stan

      It’s like that on purpose. We wanted the gap-fill activity to focus on prepositions/adverbs. We kept that one sentence without a gap since there’s no preposition/adverb there and it’s there as we wanted students to discuss that question in the next activity.

  2. Mahdiyeh MOHAMMADI

    Thanks for sharing this great content. As part of my HR students’ lesson plan, I included an article about office jerks:

    1. Iulia

      Hi Mahdiyeh,
      Thank you for sharing:) That’s a great asset to the lesson.

    2. Stan

      What a great article! I love how they identified different character types. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. Talkback

    This is such a great lesson but i’m wondering if you could make it for lower level students? Thanks.

    1. Stan

      Hi Leah! We might look into this. Definitely, it wouldn’t be the same video or the same lesson but we might tackle this issue again but design it for A2/B1 students.


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