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Handling Difficult Situations in Training
Handling Difficult Situations in Training

I remember long time back I was in a training program on “Leadership Skills” that we were doing for a very prestigious client of ours. I came across a person sitting at the end of the room, who was expression-less and was nit-picking as the program took off. He would talk about why it would not work in his company and his perspective on such programs. He was all negative about training and more so about soft skills training. They were my early days of training and initially I got baffled with his curt responses and felt I was constantly hitting against a wall.

In one of the team activities we played a little while later, I asked him if he would want to be the leader of the team. He took the responsibility quite cynically and we started the activity. The activity flopped for him as his cynicism did not help the team in achieving its objectives. I did two things thereafter while debriefing. Firstly, I asked him to be quiet and listen to his team mates’ feedback on why they think they flopped. Thus, people from his own company, his peer levels, some of his close friends, provided him the feedback on why they failed and how he contributed to the whole failure. Secondly, while I also gave him the feedback, I still supported him to come out of his current mindset. I asked him questions like, “How would you do it differently now?”, “How.....” and “How ....”. The questions forced him to think and respond the questions at a superficial level. I saw his responses changing and him changing a little as well during the program itself.

In years that followed, I came across many such situations which at times look difficult to handle. In those situations, spend time understanding people, why they are behaving the way they are behaving and work through them. Any training program has atleast 6 working hours. That is a lot of time to attempt bringing about a change. Do not look at changing things in the very moment an incident occurs. Buy your time. Change doesn’t take ages to come. It is like a flash. You need to find the right switch to turn it on. Believe in people genuinely.

Neeraj Agarwal
NA Human Resource Solution Pvt Ltd

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