Coping With Pesky Participants

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Your materials are ready. Your technology has been tested. You’ve practiced the material inside and out.

No matter how prepared you may feel, there can always be a participant who challenges you in unexpected ways. Challenging behaviors in the classroom can bring about a host of different feelings—fear, avoidance, humility, embarrassment, and frustration, to name a few. These behaviors in the classroom can compromise the learning outcomes and can be an even bigger blow to your confidence as a facilitator. You need to be ready to pivot at every turn, regardless of the challenging behavior that presents itself.


I recently spoke with Carrie Addington, who facilitates ATD’s Essentials of Overcoming Challenging Classroom Behaviors. Carrie is a down-to-earth educator and people development coach with a passion for delivering effective communication solutions with a spirited energy.

During our short Q&A, we discussed how learning how to manage challenging classroom moments demands a comprehensive approach that includes a consideration of the course design, the facilitator, and the learners. Fortunately, Essentials of Overcoming Challenging Classroom Behaviors can help you identify the causes of challenging behaviors, determine the specific facilitation skills required to handle them, and lead you into your next learning event with a higher level of confidence.

Listen to the complete podcast interview to learn more about what you can expect from this engaging ATD course.

About the Author

Amanda Smith is the Learning & Development Community of Practice manager at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Her specialties include educational planning, PR/marketing, and project management. Amanda has more than 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector, developing and marketing professional development programs for the adult learner.

Amanda brings a diverse and unique perspective on program development. She has worked for companies in healthcare, foodservice, commercial real-estate, and media industries, including the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF). 

She also serves as president and spokesperson for the Alliance for Women in Media, National Capital Area Chapter (AWM-NCAC) in Washington, D.C.  She resides in the D.C. Metro area with her husband and two children.

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