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Dealing with late-comers in workshops



One of the challenges every Facilitator / Trainer has to deal with is the learners coming in late.

My advise:
If more than half of the expected learner group are in the room, I kick-off my program. 

When the late-comers arrive, I acknowledge them with 'eye contact' - at times integrate them with a quick recap of what I have covered.

If less than half are in the room, then I ask the sponsor (HR / Business) what should be done? - most of them advice a wait of at least 15 mins. We then announce this to those present - so that they can have coffee or maybe catch up on a call or two.  In the meantime the sponsor starts calling/texting the no-shows to find out what is happening. After the extended time lapses, we just start.

I won't be harsh with penalty because in most of the India cities, traffic can be unpredictable.

In certain regions of India (where late-coming is seen as okay), I would start with a fun/intro/ice-breaker activity which takes about 15 to 20 mins. - this engages the on-time ones and the late-comers don't miss out important content to the workshop.

Few observations from my all-over-India experience (the major cities where I have trained):
Mumbai - usually on time if the venue is external. If internal then late by about 15 mins. Attitude: apologetic.
Delhi/Gurgaon - usually late by 30 mins. and more . Atttitude:  Attitude: it is okay, I had to travel from the other side of town
Chennai - usually on-time (never started a program late). Attitude: apology and nervous
Bangalore - 15 mins. usual delay (whether venue internal or external). Attitude: apologetic.
Pune - delay of 30 mins - Attitude: it is okay, I had to travel from the other side of town.

[ the above are my experiences based on my clientile - other's may have a complete different experience)


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