It’s often easy to create a rapport with the majority of your delegates. The challenge of course is to find a way to create rapport with all of them. You don’t need to make them your best friends, but you do need them sufficiently on side that 1) they don’t derail the training for others 2) they don’t distract or upset other delegates and 3) that they leave your course having learnt at least some of what you hoped they would learn. Here are our top tips on getting delegates involved in training sessions:
General rules for involving delegates:
- Treat delegates with physical or mental difficulties in the same way as others, but provide an opportunity for delegates to make you aware of any extra help required.
- Avoiding using examples that may not be meaningful to everybody.
- Change the group structures at each activity.
- Consider encouraging different seating arrangements after a break/lunch.
- Don’t impose your own ethics or values in the training.
- Never make sexist or racist jokes or comments.
- Monitor delegates for anyone who may be having difficulty understanding.
- Respect delegates personal space.
- Be aware of situations that may embarrass individuals.
- Be sensitive to hidden differences (e.g. sexuality, health conditions).
- When asking questions of the group, be conscious of giving opportunities to those who haven’t contributed as much as others.
And a few ideas for drawing in those who are not as involved as they need to be:
- Take them to one side during the first break and express your concern about their lack of involvement and ask for their ideas about what you can do to involve them.
- Be clear with them about the effect their behaviour has on the rest of the group, give specific examples if possible.
- Ask them if they understand why they are on the training course and talk through what might be in it for them.
- Do not be bullied into allowing a delegate to remove their chair to the back of the room away from the group.
- Be assertive with those who play with phones, take calls and overtly do other work in your training course.
- If necessary, ask a delegate to leave the training as your priority is to create a positive learning environment for everyone.
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