Tip #77: Handling an authority figure who is distracting others in the group

The Challenge: There is an authority figure in one of the discussion groups who is chatting and distracting others, hiding the fact that s/he doesn’t know the content by choosing not to participate.

Possible Approaches: Recognize that this individual may feel very insecure and concerned about his or her lack of knowledge of the topic, despite the group’s expectations that someone in this position would be knowledgeable. Acknowledge the authority figure’s status by having him or her facilitate the small group discussion and then post their answers on a flip chart; draw the person aside and ask him or her to assist you by encouraging others to speak. Never mention your awareness of the individual’s insecurity or lack of knowledge- either to the authority figure or to anyone else in the group.

In essence, allow the authority figure to maintain status and save face by playing a facilitative role that does not require him or her to divulge a lack of knowledge on the topic. Hopefully, after participating in the session, the authority figure will gain the level of knowledge s/he needs about the topic.

Related Posts

Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You!

Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST

Over the river to grandmother’s house- we have an idea in our mind about how the holiday should be. But planning, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, and preparing the house all take a toll. It’s easy to become anxious, worried about creating a perfect, memorable holiday. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other winter holiday. There are traditions to keep, favorite foods to prepare, and decorations to put up. It’s exhausting.

Then there’s the actual day. You will want everyone to feel happy and get along, but you know that the stress of the day can easily result in overexcited and grumpy grandchildren and irritable adult children. You imagine that all the time and effort you put into creating a lovely day could end up being wasted and unappreciated.

Holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. Let us help you get clear about what is not worth worrying about- and give you practical coping strategies that will help you stay calm when things don’t go the way you want them to go.

Join us for this highly interactive half-day virtual workshop on how to Manage Your Holiday Stress Before It Manages You on Saturday, December 10th from 11 AM to 2:30 PM CST. Your investment is $120. We guarantee that you will have a much less stressful holiday.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to Deal with Difficult People.

In this course you will define the behavioral characteristics and underlying needs of difficult people, assess situations in which you effectively handled a difficult person, review five steps for handling difficult people Laurel & Associates now offers courses through Teachable. Learn at your own pace.
Popular Post

Share This Post