Home About Us Book Catalogue Online Bookstore
VIPP Community of Practice > Difficult participants
Difficult participants

Sometimes you will have participants who have strongly opposing views. They end up by arguing with each other publicly. The other participants have very little to contribute in such bilateral debates and lose interest or get bored if this happens constantly. In this case, the facilitator must step in. It may be advantageous to suggest they go for a walk and discuss their differences, or simply talk about their families and hobbies while the rest of the participants work on the issue and show a possible resolution by the time they return. Or a separate time can be arranged for a bilateral meeting between these people during lunch or teatime. The facilitator should try to make sure that they meet for their discussions, as agreed, or maybe mediate the session. Otherwise they will continue to disrupt the group process. Possibly when they get a chance to air their views by themselves, without an audience, they will be able to resolve their problems.

There are some participants in a group who believe they “know better” than others. They want to draw attention or impress others and try to dominate the group processes whenever they can. If they remain unmanageable, then it is best to offer to set up an hour-long presentation session in the evening before or after dinner so that they can share their experiences. This should be an optional session for others to attend. The facilitator should arrange this in all seriousness and also attend. Even if no one except the facilitator turns up, the session should continue. Always remember, you are organizing the session not to embarrass this person, but rather to listen to what he or she has to share.

Sometimes a few participants may remain very quiet in group work and plenary. However, this does not necessarily mean they are not participating. By being in the group, laughing with others or listening to others they are with the team. It is best not to force them to talk if they choose to silently participate in the group process.

What is VIPP?
How was VIPP developed?
How is VIPP used?
List of applications
Planning and revising projects and programmes
Communication materials development and storyline planning
Putting research into action
Community-level development work, including PRA/PLA
Training workshops
Training of facilitators and trainers
Curricula development
Running conferences and information markets
Management, human resource planning and team building
Business meetings
Getting started
Clients or organizers
Inaugurals and closings
Difficult participants
Diversity (gender, cultural, racial, socio-economic)
Inexperienced Co-facilitators
Documentation and Reporting

Other issues

VIPP Online Discussions
VIPP Materials
VIPP facilitators and institutions?
Links to Related Websites
Useful VIPP Forms
Click here to return to the VIPP Community of Practice home page

Southbound books on participatoty development communication and ICT for social change.
© Southbound Sdn. Bhd., 2020. All rights reserved.