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5 Video Guides to Training Difficult People

Written by Andy Trainer – Mon 11 Feb 2013


Difficult_PeoplePerhaps the most frustrating aspect of working as a trainer (or in any profession) is encountering people who make your job harder. On courses they can range from the disinterested to the disobedient to the downright disgraceful!

Being able to manage these people, while maintaining a positive demeanour for the other delegates, can be particularly tough. For that reason, we've put together a list of 5 video resources that can have a huge impact on the way you respond to and deal with people who cause trouble, in whatever form.

We also cover this topic in great depth on our Train the Trainer Course as we feel that to truly master the art of training you need to be able to cope with the good, the bad and the ugly! You can also check out this post from our trainer Shaun on how to build rapport with anyone.

First up let's take a look at a video that specifically applies to disruption during training:

1/ Adult training techniques, how to deal w/disruptive learners

In this video we see experienced trainer Tony White demonstrate some actionable techniques that can be used to diffuse and deflect attention from a disruptive delegate. Notice how at no point does he lose his cool, raise his voice or let the situation get out of control.

He calmly and rationally asks questions and uses body language to either divert attention away from or (maybe surprisingly) to the 'problem' candidate. A very useful video that provides simple and easily implementable tactics.

2/ Dealing with Disruptive Students (part 1)

Whilst perhaps not as visually engaging as the previous video, this in depth guide (and its second part) from Steven Van Hook, gives a more detailed look at techniques that can be applied in the training room as a means to deal with disruption.

This is the sort of guide to listen to repeatedly (reading the slides isn't particularly essential) in the background whilst doing other things or maybe as you go to sleep.

3/ Dealing with Difficult People

Susan Fee's short video is a more general look at coping with 'problem' people in all aspects of life. She actually subverts the typical perspective on such people and tries to find positive lessons that can be learnt from them.

It's a very clever approach because as she says when you view difficult people as 'teachers'  rather than obstacles 'they cease to be a problem'. I recommend watching some of Susan's other video's as well, especially 'Conversations with Difficult People'.

4/ How to handle people who think they are better than everyone else

Marie Dubuque's excellent video is, like Susan's Fee's, a more general look at people in life as a whole but specifically those with a bit of an ego. In the training room this can be  an all too common experience - when one student thinks they know more than the rest of the group; or even you!

Marie's points are easy to action and again, like Susan's, it's worth watching some of her other videos - I highly recommend 'How to handle people who are know-it-alls'.

5/ 4 Magic Phrases You Can Use to Respond to ANYTHING

Possibly the most engaging/charismatic video in this list, there's no doubt that Dan O'Connor has mastered the art of communication!

Using repetition and borderline NLP techniques, he demonstrates the effectiveness of the four 'magic' phrases.

Whilst not specific to training, and perhaps not applicable to all sessions, the techniques outlined are certainly useful for a wide variety of scenarios.

For a particularly exuberant and entertaining look at dealing with negativity, check out Dan's video 'Dealing with Negativity at Work'.

Final Word

Hopefully these videos will help you develop methods that will improve the way you cope with difficult people (especially in, but not limited to, the classroom). If  you have any other resources, video or otherwise, that you feel are useful for this topic, please feel free to leave a comment.

If you're still struggling with difficult people, then our Assertiveness Training could be for you. It will help you build the confidence you need to cope with the individuals who make your life harder.

Image by iandexter on Flickr.

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