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When I facilitate advanced trainer programs, I often ask trainers to share their number one classroom challenge.

Overwhelmingly, they tell me it’s disruptive participants.

They give examples of participants using cell phones during discussions, folks coming back from lunch late, people reading email during breakouts, and learners having side conversations while the trainer is talking.

Passive aggressive behavior comes up too. Often, it’s displayed by participants who were forced to attend training: the so-called prisoner. Or participants who aggressively share their opinions over the interests of other people in the room. Sound familiar?

Loads of books have been written about how to deal with disruptive folks in the classroom.  I’m not sure how helpful they are.

In this article, I share my thought that in many cases, I think it’s too late.

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