THE QUESTION: Your boss has asked you to provide a mandatory training session for all employees on a topic in which you are well versed. Vincent, a colleague who is also an expert on the topic, is upset that he is required to attend the training. During the session Vincent interrupts three times with what amounts to complaints about the way the material is being presented. The last time he mumbled loud enough for everyone to hear, “This is a big waste of time.” He has his hand raised once again.
WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?
A. Call upon him and if he begins to complain again say, “Vincent, since you find this such a waste of your time, you are welcome to leave.”
B. Announce a 15 minute break and then speak to Vincent in private about his attitude.
C. Call on him, and introduce him as an expert who can help the entire class by giving additional depth to the material.
D. Call on him and tolerate his tone in hopes that his comment or question is helpful to the others present.
WHAT’S MY ANSWER?
I picked B. Announce a 15 minute break and then speak to Vincent in private about his attitude. However, I really feel a combination between B and C would be best. That way, I could address his attitude privately and empower him to share his knowledge, without risking putting him on the spot.
Realistically though, as somebody who has led trainings in the past, there really isn’t time to take a 15 minute break and address the issue. Not listed as an option, yet still a positive solution could be to have talked with Vincent before the training about presenting at key points. His knowledge would’ve benefited the other employees, and he would’ve been empowered.
Does anybody have any advice on how to handle the situation without a break?
Well, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below.
Click here to read an evaluation of this Dilemma from Fulvio Di Blasi, a world-renown scholar in the field of applied philosophy and business ethics.