Your Moment of (Kronos Training) Zen - Participant Management
May 14, 2010
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So what kind of learner are you? Anxious? Cranky? Tired? I know I can get really bored if I am not engaged by the instructor. Learners can act in many ways. Some are not terribly disruptive; (that guy in the back that keeps falling asleep...provided he doesn't snore!) and some can really handcuff the surrounding learners. Whatever the cause, some learners can be...shall we say...difficult to manage. The purpose of this blog is to discuss management of these very special groups of learners.
As a trainer, you want your learners to learn. Your job is not just to present information, it is to stop anything that could detract from the learning that is taking place. Construction going on outside? You have to handle it. Room too hot or too cold? You had better fix it. Computer network down? Get it back up, or find someone who can. This stuff is basic, even obvious. But what if that distraction is a learner? How do we properly manage that? Just as you wouldn't throw out a computer because it was slow (at least not at first), you wouldn't remove a disruptive learner as your first course of action. So who is this disruptive influence in your class? Here are some ways to recognize them:
The Talker - This is that learner that is ALWAYS finding something to share with their neighbors. It would be almost acceptable if the this person were talking about what was being presented in class, that that is almost never the case. This is a distraction, and you, as the trainer, need to handle it.
Deal with this type of learner in a professional manner. Don't lose your cool. Sometimes all it takes is standing near the the distracting learner while teaching. Other times, you may need to speak to the learner at break. Either way, the message needs to be clear: "You are distracting other learners by talking, I would appreciate you minimizing the conversations." The funny thing is that this person often doesn't realize how much he or she is talking!
The Rocket Scientist - An irritated participant from minute one, this learner doesn't want to be in class because they believe they don't need to attend the class. This may be right, this may be wrong. Imagine trying to train a system administrator on the basic functions of Kronos Workforce Central. Could be intimidating, no? This learner will often ask questions throughout the class. Often these questions deal with topics only slightly related to the topic at hand, and significantly more advanced than the topic itself.
A key in dealing with this type of distraction is to manage this distraction's ego. Make sure this learner understands that you are aware of the situation. That you know how smart that learner is. Ask this learner to proctor with other learners. Give this learner something to do that will improve your class. Create the win/win scenario.
These are only two of several types of learners out there. Remember, in all cases, be clear, be professional and be patient. Create and manage an environment that promotes learning, and you can overcome these challenges.
Good luck on your Kronos training implementation.