How to Manage Disruptive Delegates in your Training

One person can ruin a course if they are not carefully managed. Disruptive delegates are something that you will have to deal with. So here is a fool proof way to deal with them.

Start by figuring out how a disruptive delegate behaves that makes them disruptive. They are not necessarily loud boorish characters, they can be:

  • Disinterested. “I’ve been sent along, so I’m here”.
  • Interrupting.  They have to show what they know – constantly
  • Questioning.  Appropriate questions are great, but yet another question from the same delegate every 5 minutes will drive your group nuts!
  • Drunk
  • Argumentative

How to deal with these people?  At the first available opportunity, take the offending person to one side, well away from the rest of the group and explain to them how their behaviour is impacting on the rest of the group.  Many will not be aware that their behaviour is inappropriate and will immediately change.

For those characters that show no inclination to change after a second request, removing them from your course is the only option left.  Politely ask them to leave, again well out of sight of the rest of the group.

Should you fail to act on a disruptive delegate, the rest of the group will feel that you have let them down and will mark you down as a poor trainer.  So be strong and control disruption in groups early and firmly.

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