By Ashraf Al Shafaki
You take a participant vote in any of the following situations:
- A difficult participant is behaving in a way that could disrupt the training
- When deciding to cancel the break, give an extra break or change the time of giving a break
When taking a vote, there are 3 groups of participants.
- Active YES: Participants who agree. They vote by raising their hands.
- Active NO: Participants who disagree. They vote by not raising their hands.
- Passive: Participants who have not yet made their minds or just do not want to vote. They do not vote so their hands are not raised.
When counting the results of the vote, the third group of non-voters (passive) are often mistakenly counted with the disagreeing participants (group 2, who are active NO).
The question of the vote is often framed to make use of such phenomenon. Extra 'voters' usually join the NO group.
Using such phenomenon to the trainer's advantage is not considered true democracy but it does make participants feel fine as the trainer has taken their opinion. If the trainer does not wish to use this phenomenon to his or her advantage he/she must at least guard against it being used against him or her.
- If you have a strong feeling that the great majority of participants would agree on a decision then ask them: "Who ever agrees please raise your hand."
- If you feel that many participants disagree with a decision you prefer to make you frame the question as: "Whoever disagrees please raise your hand."
- Participants become more cooperative with the trainer
- Participants fully accept the results of the vote even those who belong to the minority vote