When someone keeps challenging your authority, questioning everything you do, and shows up with inappropriate behaviour to your meetings, YOU NEED TO step into your role as a leader for your group.
But if you’re not careful, you could make the situation worse,
and that can escalate quickly…
My Emergency Checklist will help you figure out if action is necessary and then interrupt the challenging behaviour — with love & respect.
📝 EMERGENCY CHECKLIST
- ✅ Assess the impact on the group: Is it worth dealing with quickly or can it wait until after the person has finished speaking or even at the end of the meeting?
- ✅ Check in with yourself: Take a deep breath. Channel your facilitation superpowers and get grounded.
- ✅ Respectfully interrupt the unhelpful behaviour: How can you “take back the mic” without having to mute the other person?
- ✅ Acknowledge them: Make them feel seen, heard and understood before you do anything else.
- ✅ Share the impact of their behaviour: Tell them exactly why their behaviour is unhelpful to the group and the meeting’s purpose.
- ✅ Ask them if they are willing to change their behaviour: Don’t force them to change, invite them to make a choice so that the whole group can move forward.
- ✅ Check-in again: Reach out in private messages or with a 1-on-1 phone call during breaks to get curious and let them know you care about them.
- ✅ Be prepared to ask them to leave: If there is not enough change in the person’s behaviour to ensure the group will reach its outcomes, you’ll need to introduce some consequences.
I go into more detail about this checklist in my video below:
The main thing I discovered about handling challenging participants is that it’s much like parenting a toddler who is throwing a tantrum.
Some of the best parenting advice I’ve ever received is:
“Connect. Then correct.”
Before we can talk about changing behaviour and look for solutions to a problem, we need to connect with our participants.
We need to make sure they feel seen, heard and understood.
Only then, we will be able to move on.
These are just a few of the many tips I shared in my DIFFICULT PARTICIPANTS WORKSHOP. I share my exact script on how to handle the three most common types of difficult participants (The Oblivious Oversharer, Quiet Lurker and Disruptive Troublemaker).
You’ll even get my word-for-word PDF scripts, with the exact words you can use to engage or de-escalate challenging situations. It’s the perfect cheat sheet to have on speed dial when something happens in your workshop.