To ensure that training goes smoothly, trainers must anticipate, identify, and engage the different participant personalities within their groups. While the average group of participants has a fairly diverse background, there are four common personality types: 1. Partier. The partiers enjoy socializing with other participants. They are often a source of support for trainers and love to participate when the content grabs their attention. 2. Sponge. This highly participative personality type tends to soak up the material. With high levels of enthusiasm and energy, these participants are often assets to trainers. 3. Shopper. Shoppers tend to look for the best ideas. They sometimes will challenge the trainer. To engage shoppers, trainers must link the content to its day-to-day practical applications. 4. Convict. The convicts are only at the training session because it was mandated by their organizations. They are often disruptive or refuse to participate. To engage convicts, trainers must explain the relevance and benefits of training, listen to their concerns, and monitor their performance. No matter what personality types they encounter, trainers must always be working to mitigate unproductive behavior and keep the group focused on the right issues. To reinforce engagement and prevent participants from getting off topic, trainers can assign group members different roles, such as team leader, scribe, and timer. Other engagement techniques include making eye contact, varying tone of voice, using props to illustrate points, and designating a time for questions and answers.
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