In our last BLOG we said that planning ahead is your best defence against difficult behavior – almost like preventative medicine. But you still want to know how to deal with those people, don’t you? In this BLOG and our next one, we will arm you with remedies for four specific difficult participants.
Participants in IWCC workshops often ask how to deal with difficult people. We have given names to these four specific types they often ask about:
- The Socializer
- The Monopolizer
- The Prisoner
- The Introvert
Bumped into these people? Some of you may even be these people. Have they gotten the best of you at some point? Want some help for the next time?
For this week, you will find some strategies you can use to remedy the behaviors of the Socializer and the Monopolizer…
We all know this person - they talk constantly. If they are not answering a question, they are holding a sidebar conversation while you or others are speaking. Socializers create a problem because you never know if they are asking the person beside them for clarification or engaging in a full-out conversation about something else. Try these strategies:
- Make eye contact with the socializer as you speak
- Direct a question to him or her to gain attention
- Move closer to the socializer and continue presenting/talking
- Use a small group activity to change the dynamic
- Talk to the socializer privately – ask for their help to allow others to focus
You know this person – they simply take over. And, they enjoy the sound of their own voice! As the facilitator or presenter, you need to acknowledge their contributions and enthusiasm while allowing other audience members equal opportunities to participate. Try these strategies:
- Reduce eye contact with a monopolizer
- Choose small group activities & discussions that allow for more idea-sharing and less monopolizing
- Move closer to the monopolizer while maintaining eye-contact with the rest of the group
- Involve him or her in a task (delivering handouts, managing a flipchart)
- Thank the individual for their comments and ask if anyone else has something to contribute
- Talk to the monopolizer privately – ask for their help to allow others to contribute
When dealing with a difficult participant, be careful not to embarrass them. Remember, what you do to one participant you do to all participants. If you embarrass one, they all feel that pain. If you maintain one participant’s dignity, they all feel respected.
Stay tuned –remedies for Prisoners and Introverts coming in our next BLOG, August 4.