There are many challenges with addressing problematic workplace issues. Tactfully focus on the goals involved in the courses you teach. Consult the training objectives for these goals. They are all related to the guiding principles of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®
Many strategies and techniques can help you steer resistance or negativity toward constructive interest and involvement. They include:
- Begin by reviewing the Facilitation Dynamics section of your Prepare Training® Instructor Portfolio for tips on addressing challenging questions or statements.
- Always model respectful, service-oriented, and safe workplace practices, even when you’re responding to challenging questions or concerns.
- When dealing with particularly sensitive topics, invite a human resources representative, Employee Assistance Professional, supervisor, or manager to attend the training.
- If the above team members have already completed the training, ask one of them to introduce more sensitive topics and relate the focus of training to your organization’s values, vision, mission, strategic plan, and policies and procedures.
- Formally keep track of questions and concerns and communicate your method for doing so to participants.
- Ask a participant volunteer to write follow-up questions and concerns on a flip-chart page (or even on a loose-leaf page) for later review with management. A “parking-lot” technique is excellent for this purpose. Assure participants that a member of the management team will review these types of questions and concerns.
There may be many reasons to “park” certain questions, discussion points, or concerns. These reasons include:
- Some participants may not feel comfortable asking certain questions in the presence of others.
- A participant may ask a question that you know will be addressed more completely in an upcoming section of the training.
- A participant may ask a challenging question that can be deferred for later discussion.
- A participant may ask a question at a point when there is inadequate time to address the question fully.
- You may wish to post a reminder for later follow-up.
This simple technique is easy to set up and implement.
- Before training, post one or more visuals labeled “Parking Lot” in the training room. Leave plenty of free space on each visual.
- Before training, distribute several self-stick notepads or cards within easy reach of participant groups.
- During your introduction, inform participants that you’re happy to address questions as they arise. Also inform them of the parking-lot option for some or all of the reasons listed above.
These techniques and others will help you maintain focus and manage training time while also attending to participant questions and concerns. They will also help you model the guiding principles of Respect, Service, and Safety at Work®
while you teach any component of CPI’s Prepare Training®