Believing Adults Will Act Like Adults When In Learning Situations - Stupid Trainer Tricks

Inexperienced trainers tend to have a somewhat idealized view of how adults will behave in training. The expectation is that they will act like... well, act like adults. They'll pay attention, work hard, avoid fooling around, act and communicate with respect and so on. As a result, trainers will sometimes encounter situations where they are not prepared for, and fail to deal effectively with non-constructive behavior that comes from adults.

When you've been around adult learners in classroom situations long enough, you will end up having seen almost every kind of non-adult behavior imaginable, from reading newspapers during training, flying paper airplanes, insulting other learners, making passes at the instructor, and so on.

It's great to have positive expectations about the learners in a classroom, but the problem lies with not expecting and not preparing to deal with non-constructive behavior. It's best exemplified by this trainer quote:

I was so stunned when Steve said "insert offensive comment" that I didn't know what to do, and I didn't even believe I heard what I thought I heard".

Trainers need to deal with learners as they are and as they behave in the moment, and not rely on theory if it results in poor preparedness to deal with childish behavior.

About Company

Bacal & Associates is a small training, consulting and publishing company specializing in customer service, communication, performance management, and other management challenges.

Privacy Policy

Our Related Sites

It Takes A Village To Teach A Child
For teachers, educational administrators and parents.

All About The Workplace
Our main site with over 400 articles on life in the workplace.

Improving Customer Service
Dedicated to improving customer service, and customer service strategies for business

Small Business Resource Center
For all things related to small business owners and those considering starting a small business


We believe in a lean, information packed user experience. We limit the use of graphics and stress quality content. We also believe in a NO HYPE environment. Our product and service descriptions are free of overblown claims, and selling.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (613) 764-0241
  • Email:
  • Address:
    722 St. Isidore Rd.
    Casselman, Ontario, Canada
  • K0A 1M0