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Seb Anthony

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Help with my CTP assignment


Hello to all, I am currently studying CTP and as my topic for assignment 3, I am designing a session around dealing with difficult delegates. Has anyone completed a similar session and, if so are you willing to share your insights. Also, does anyone have experience of real life situations where delegates have 'kicked off' during a workshop? Thanks in advance, Leighton

5 Responses

  1. Difficult delegates
    Hi Leighton,
    I have delivered a train the trainer course which looks at why delegates may be being difficult and tips about how to deal with this. I’d be happy to share it if you email me on

  2. Dealing with delegates with difficulties
    Hi Leighton,
    What is it makes delegates behave ‘difficultly?’
    Have you ever been a ‘difficult delegate’ yourself? Or maybe just a little bit distracted, defensive, dominant, or despondent?

    The reason I ask is, it’s not usually that the person is ‘difficult’ all the time but that there is something causing them a difficulty; and they are responding appropriately. So perhaps they’ve been ‘sent’ on the course, perhaps they don’t understand why they are attending, perhaps there’s something completely separate from you and the course that’s causing them to behave in a less than ‘perfect delegate’ way.

    When we run our How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer workshop we leave that particular question until the end of the course – because what usually happens is that by embracing and using the principles and techniques of brain friendly learning the whole concept of a difficult delegate vanishes.

    So set up your joining information, managers, support staff, the learning environment, learning design, trainers etc. etc. to remove as many barriers to learning as you can before the learning starts.

    You can still download a free teleseminar from Learning at Work week about how you can use some of these concepts at – I trust you’ll find some useful ideas in there. (and if you don’t like listening then there’s a transcript available to read too.

    Enjoy your assignment.
    Stella Collins

  3. Help with CTP assignment re. difficult delegates
    Hi Leighton

    I have much experience in both the theory and the practice of training and dealing with ‘difficult’ delegates, and the best learning I experienced personally was through reading about NLP techniques specifically within the context of training. I came across a book called ‘NLP for trainers’ by accident one day, and started dipping into it, and some of the stuff in there was really eye-opening, therefore I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about what to do in those cringe-type situations where you sometimes just don’t know what to do! I am not an NLP freak before you ask, this book was my first experience of what it actually is! Any ‘best practice’ tips or theory on training / difficult delegates in general is useful, however limited somewhat. Last week I was delivering a briefing to a group of delegates, and I had one in particular who was being really awkward, so I tried some of the new techniques out that I had read about, and I was surprised at the result – I even received an email from a fellow delegate the week after complementing me on the way I handled the situation – proof that it works! I hope this helps : )

  4. I found that this helped
    I am fortunate that I have a drop in service prior to my customers coming on programme so I have the opportunity to get their views i.e what they want/don’t want. I can then tailor my responses and help them appreciate what is in it for them.

    Day one of the programme I ask what they want out of it and write this up on a ‘Journey’ chart. At the end of each day (or session) I get their feelings on how it went. I can then, if need be, go over certain aspects again and the feedback gives me the oportunity to review/revise my delivery methods, content, etc for relevance, interest, etc. I can also build in breaks or shifts where I know they flag.

    I found this article by Lynne Kerry interesting:

    As for difficult delegates phew! When I delivered training to 18-24 years olds I had them pinning each other up against the wall. this was during the JIT challenge – a simulated production line using stickle bricks. Its great for identifying individual team skills and leading discussions on teams and team working. However I don’t have time to recount all the episodes I’ve experienced. If you really want some let me know.

    PS I deliver soft skills training to lone parents and provide one to one follow up support working on all aspects of their life.


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