This simple intervention asks a disruptive person to comment or contribute to the session.
Use when a participant is disrupting the session and seems to want to say something. They may be making comments to someone else or talking to himself or herself. The immediate goal is stopping the disruption to the group's work. It is important that the facilitator is seen to be in control of the group, otherwise the disruptive behavior becomes infectious, especially among young adults.
Make sure there are ground rules for working as a group. These may be set out by the facilitator or created with the group.
Think through what disruptions may come up and how to deal with them before they do come up.
Facilitator capability: This needs a light touch, from a place of respect for each individual and also respect for the group.
1. Use when a participant is talking to someone else or making comments to himself or herself.
2. Stop the session and ask the person respectfully whether they have a comment to make or something valuable to contribute to the session.
3. If they say no, then ask them to please respect the session schedule and discuss their personal interests during break or after the session.
Follow-Up Required: Sometimes it is helpful to seek out the participant after the session to follow up on what has caused them to act in this way.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: Often the participant will not say anything, but sometimes they will have an insight that the group needs to hear.
Potential pitfalls: This can be a difficult intervention as it can create resentment on the behalf of the participant if not done respectfully.
Source: Jon Jenkins
Derived from: An email on disruptive students at the university level or participants in training sessions. Developed by Debra Bannister, MBA, PMP, Cert. Ad. Ed., Principal, Meta Team Solutions