Top Ten Training Tips for dealing with ‘difficult’ delegates
May times as a trainer or facilitator we come across delegates who just do not want to be there. Whether it’s because they have been ‘sent’, or whether they are hostile to the idea of the training, it is something that we have to deal with from the point of view of the training benefit to other delegates who may not share their views. It is also necessary to do our best to try and engage them. Here are a few of my training tips for dealing with those difficult delegates. I’m not saying it’s easy and I’d welcome other suggestions.
- Ask them what they would like you to do- put the ball in their court
- Empathise and sympathise if their negativity and reluctance to participate is really genuine
- Change the activity quickly but ‘have a word’
- Find some reason to say something positive and encouraging to them.
- Many delegates are negative because they are frightened that they might be exposed or put on the spot
- Move swiftly into small group activities… if they persist in spreading the negativity have a discussion with them about the best way foreword outside the training room
- If they really think that nothing on the course will be of benefit then just tell them that maybe they are right and their time is better spent at work …offer to telephone their line manager and explain the situation.
- Capture the delegates as they enter the training room and try and engage with them then to break down any barriers
- If they don’t think that they can learn anything new then maybe an approach is to ask them to stay in order to share their skills and knowledge with the others
- Keep everyone really busy and make the session fast paced …it throws the most ardent awkward delegate as they haven’t got the ‘space’ and time to be negative