Bad Boss Bingo

A fun alternative to the negative cycle of responses that bad bossing can sometimes cause

Preparing to play Bad Boss Bingo

1. Spend some focused time identifying and naming the problem behaviours that are the source of the bad bossing. They might be fairly generic, like “undermining me” or more specific instances “talking over me in meetings.” It might be difficult to make the list. But developing the discipline to be specific about the things that make a boss bad is the only way we can begin to improve the situation.

Playing Bad Boss Bingo

1. Live your life as usual.

Advanced play — making use of priming

I invented Bad Boss Bingo inspired by a sort of cognitive bias or psychological phenomena called ‘priming effect’. Wikipedia describes it as:


Bingo is a game of chance. And sometimes working with a bad boss can feel like a gamble as we work around their weaknesses or wait for them to undermine our confidence, contentment or performance. Bad Boss Bingo wrestles back some control. In a playful way it helps us prepare for bad bossing behaviours. It can help knock us out of automatic responses and encourage us to try something more helpful each time we spot a bit of bad bossing. It can also help us identify good bits of bossing to balance our perception of the boss.



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I'm a Creative director at the BBC. I like words, design, data and magic. These are all my own views (apart from retweets. I borrowed those to look clever.)