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  1. ✅ 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?
  2. ✅ Check in with yourself: Take a deep breath. Channel your facilitation superpowers and get grounded.
  3. ✅ Respectfully interrupt the unhelpful behaviour: How can you “take back the mic” without having to mute the other person?
  4. ✅ Acknowledge them: Make them feel seen, heard and understood before you do anything else.
  5. ✅ Share the impact of their behaviour: Tell them exactly why their behaviour is unhelpful to the group and the meeting’s purpose.
  6. ✅ 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.
  7. ✅ 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.
  8. ✅ 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:

We need to make sure they feel seen, heard and understood.

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.


This workshop will show you how to handle difficult participants with respect and confidence, so you can get things done in your meeting.

Jan Keck

Jan Keck

Trainer | Facilitator | Experience Designer · Turning Meetings into Inclusive, Engaging and Memorable Experiences 🙌