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Fun ways to deal with difficult people for meetings, presentations, focus groups and courses

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Fun ways to deal with difficult people for meetings, presentations, focus groups and courses


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If you are running an event like a meeting, presentation, sales pitch, focus group, or course


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You may have to deal with some funky behaviour like people coming in late, texting on their phone, or falling asleep


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But what can you do if you can’t tell them off


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Like when the person misbehaving is senior to you


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A prospect


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Or a paying customer


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You need to take control without losing your cool!


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First


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Take a deep breath and remind yourself


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That the bad behaviour is probably not about you


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“My son is ill at home”


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“I have no reason to be here”


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“I got no sleep last night and it is hot in this room”


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Then


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Use these 5 fun strategies


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#1 easy way to deal with lateness


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Because you can’t do this: “we are going to have a chat about timekeeping!”


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Close the door and start on time! Don’t reward what you don’t want by waiting


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And because no-one likes to do this (walk into a session that has already started)


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He won’t be late again and neither will the rest of us


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Sorry guys!


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You didn’t delay your session, inconvenience the people who were on time, get stressed or annoyed and you got an apology… all without saying a word


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#2 easy way to deal with discontent


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If the group is just generally unhappy, don’t ignore it, deal with it head on


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If the session is optional If the session is optional


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Start by stating the purpose of the event and who would benefit from it, then let or make, the people who feel they would not benefit leave


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If the session is mandatory


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Talk about how people feel about the event first


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If it threatens to carry on too long or become too destructive start questions with ‘considering’


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Like this


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Considering we ARE moving to Alaska, what would you like to get out of the session today?


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Repeat until everyone is happy to get on with the session despite their reservations


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#3 easy way to deal with 20 questions


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Sometimes you might need to reign people in when they get off-track


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If they are irrelevant questions say: ‘let’s talk about that afterwards since it’s not a group issue’


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If the questions are relevant (but there are just too many)


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Say: ‘Let’s get back to our session since we are running out of time’


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Use the strategies for dealing with dominant types


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If one or two people dominate the meeting and no-one else can get a word in


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“My experience is blah blah blah”


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Subtly discourage them using your position in the room


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Without turning your back on them move to a position where you will not have eye contact


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Sitting on their desk is also a great way to include them with your proximity but give the floor to the rest of the class


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Try mentioning something they said earlier. No-one is humiliated and the near miss really makes people perk up


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While you are talking very slowly walk towards them. Make sure you don’t just look directly at them, that would be a bit creepy


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This also works really well if someone is nodding off


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It works like magic


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Ta da, you now own the room. Want to see more fun stuff?


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Click the slide decks to view them in a new window


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Want to know how to make spiffy slides? Article 10 training


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