How to deal with difficult training participants

You're in the training room, and you have 20 participants. All seems to be going well, until someone puts up their hand. You break out into a sweat... Who is asking the question? Will it be Mr. Chatterbox who talked non-stop through the icebreaker session? Is it Mr Clueless who has no idea why he's, here he's an expert, or will it be someone else? The last thing you want is to deal with difficult training participants, but you know each course you teach will have at least one of the four below...

How to deal with difficult training participants

How to Deal With Difficult Training Participants - Infographic

How to deal with difficult training participants

Here Are 4 Ways To Deal With Difficult Training Participants

Mr. Chatterbox

He loves the spotlight almost as much as he loves the sound of his own voice. You may think he joins training sessions just to hear himself talk more... With wise handling, Mr. Chatterbox will be your ally. This means giving him a moment in the spotlight, and then limiting future interactions. He may be the first person you ask a question of, then swiftly move on to the next participant. These participants need regular reminders to include the rest of the room.

Difficult training participant - chatterbox
Quiet training participant

Ms. Quiet

Sometimes Ms. Quiet can be confused with Mr. Clueless. They're quiet as they don't know why they're here. They could also be shy, have learning difficulties, or know the subject intimately. Taking them aside and discovering why they're quiet will help you. Moving them into a small group so they don't feel overwhelmed will gently encourage participation.

Mrs. Challenging

She's been there, done that, written the book, got the t-shirt and now drop-ships her own mugs with motivation quotes on the topic of your training. She's challenging for sure! Out of all the difficult training participants, Mrs. Challenging is the toughest to deal with. The secret to winning her over is to not argue with her, and to pair her up with Mr. Chatterbox whenever you can. She will also help with Mr. Clueless if steered in that direction

Challenging training participant
Clueless training participant

Mr. Clueless

He has no idea why he's here. He says so at every opportunity. His superpower is leading discussions off-topic. There will be moments you think he's doing this on purpose, but the truth is he's really clueless. 

Guide him gently back onto the track, and make sure he has all the handouts so he can catch up on what he's missed.

Need Help Dealing With Difficult Training Participants?

Our course on Dealing with Difficult People covers a process and tactics for dealing with any difficult situation without losing your cool. It's a white label course, so you can also edit it any way you want and teach it under your own brand and name. You can even sell it for 100% profit!

Dealing With Difficult People

Teach Yourself. Then teach your audience.

Dealing with difficult people


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