Overcoming Trainee Resistance

Sometimes you, the trainer, want to give one of the trainees an instruction but feel that that trainee would show a great deal of resistance following such instruction.

Side Talkers

For instance let’s say one of the participants is showing a great deal of side talks and disrupting the training process. Let’s say you want to ask such a participant to move from his current seat to another one at the opposite side of the room to break his disrupting side talks with his colleagues. If you order him directly to move from his current place he may take it personally, get offended and show a great deal of resistance in following your instruction.

One way for dealing with such a situation can be to first ask a different trainee to change her place then ask the trainee with the disrupting behavior to change his place. By seeing one or more trainees first obeying your instruction, the difficult trainee would show very low resistance or even no resistance at all in following suit and obeying your instruction as well. It is as if you have set a pattern in the training room which would be normal for everyone to follow.

Shy Participants

This technique can be used not only with difficult participants who are showing disruptive behavior but it can also be used with shy trainees who are very reluctant or highly resistant to following some of your instructions for them to do something. For instance let’s say one of the participants in a team is shy and does not want to present the findings of his team. You can start by asking other members of his team first to come and present then ask the shy participant to come and present too after that.

By setting a pattern through asking participants whom you feel would obey your instructions first it makes it way easier to ask other more resistive participants to follow suit and do the same as their colleagues.

In what other ways do you think one can deal with resistance in trainees?