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Blame it on the Weather: Tips for Managing Classroom Dynamics

Posted by Langevin Team on 11/10/11 3:07 AM
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As instructors, one of the biggest concerns we have is dealing with the wide range of attitudes, emotions, thoughts, and values of our participants. There have been so many books and articles written, as well as seminars and discussions provided, on "How to Deal with "Difficult Participants." After all, having to deal with negative or challenging people in our training courses can make our jobs more stressful and much less enjoyable—two ingredients that no one in the workplace welcomes.


The good news is that I am not writing another book or article, nor am I going on the speaker circuit, to discuss ways of dealing with difficult participants. What I do want to share with you, though, is a reason why some people have poor attitudes.

As I sit here writing this blog, outside it is pouring rain, windy, dark, damp, and only 48 degrees Fahrenheit. This morning I was just feeling blah, with not much energy, drive or passion to do much of anything. I was moving along slowly, when it dawned on me that weather – good or bad – can have an impact on our training. The physical environment can also have an impact on our learners’ moods.

While we can't change the weather, at least not yet, we can brighten up our training rooms, literally and figuratively. Below are five of what I call "What do you think(s)?" Consider using these in your training to help brighten up the environment.

  1. What do you think about playing some fun Salsa, Caribbean, Beach Boys-type of summer music, especially in the dead of winter?
  2. What do you think about having props in the room? A poster of a sunset, beach, pictures of previous smiling trainees, a creative quote, or motivational phrases could be placed around the room.
  3. What do you think about wearing something bright, yet professional, on a gloomy day? Maybe you could try a yellowish or pink colored shirt or blouse. Colors have a big impact on peoples’ attitudes and moods.
  4. What do you think about incorporating fun stories, themes, puzzles, or analogies into your training? Don't forget to smile and stay upbeat yourself.
  5. Lastly, this “What do you think?” might be a stretch, but what do you think about painting your training room(s) a brighter color? Our living room, for example, is painted a color called Steam, which looks white, until the sun shines, and then it turns a really light shade of sky blue—beautiful!

Have fun, be creative, and remember that you can always take our 25 Creative Ways to Add Excitement to Your Training workshop, for more ideas.

And hey, whaddya know! It’s currently raining less, and the sky is getting a little brighter. Maybe every cloud really does have a silver lining!


Topics: difficult participants, instructional techniques, instructor-led training

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