A reader writes: “I disagree with your approach to training. Adults do not need to be coddled. I expect them to be alert, on time and engaged. If not, I have dismissed them publicly from the class.”

In this issue, we need to understand that part of training is tied to the personality of the trainer/facilitator. Based on your claims, you have a very high success rate with attendees passing the certification exam you train. I congratulate you on your high success rate and respectfully disagree on your attitude towards your students. Your students not only fear you but also respect you since you seem to be a true SME (subject matter expert) in your field.

There are varying theories regarding leadership style ranging from “democratic” to “dictatorial.” I believe in “participatory,” which basically respects each individual as being at a different level in their learning and has the right to choose when and how to engage. I consider my challenge to be to reach out to them in a positive manner so they feel “safe” to not only participate but also to fail without embarrassment.

As to chiding people who show up late, I know of too many instances where the attendees had a crisis at home or was dealing with health issues of their own. I have had attendees show up at my class after putting in an eight-hour shift so of course they were tired or distracted. My approach has been to speak with them during a break and learn more details before making a judgement call. I DO NOT intentionally humiliate or embarrass an attendee even if they are misbehaving unless it is extreme behavior.

We will have to agree to disagree on this point since I believe that respect and adult training does not allow for intentional humiliation of anyone. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.