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A Better Way

A facilitator’s response to difficult behavior must be depersonalized. The depersonalizing process begins by making a change in how difficult participants are considered. Rather than label them difficult participants, call it disruptive behavior. In this way, you are labeling behavior—not people—which is a good place to start depersonalizing the event. Also, the term disruptive is both less personal and more accurate in describing the effects of that behavior.

In dealing with disruptive behavior, your job is to set aside your personal agendas and concentrate on fulfilling your professional agenda, which is, without fail, to make the learning happen. This agenda is true no matter what the situation, but it is particularly important when in the presence of disruptive behavior. Your actions must focus always on helping the learning to occur. Figure 7-1 illustrates what must happen in a facilitator’s thought processes when disruptive behavior occurs.


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