Trainee Resistance

By Ashraf Al Shafaki


Here are some examples of trainee resistance that a trainer might encounter during the activities of a training session:

  • A participant is too shy to make a demo or group work presentation
  • A participant is afraid of or shy to answer a question
  • A participant is shy to read (something he/she has written)
  • A trainee says "I can't" or "I will not be able to do it" to some activity the trainer asks him/her to carry out


  • The participant is a perfectionist and is afraid of making mistakes.
  • The participant cares a lot about his/her image and is afraid that it could be compromised if he/she performs poorly.
  • The participant is underestimating his/her abilities.


  1. Provide the trainee with instant relief by saying that it is OK for him/her not to carry out the activity.
  2. Pass on to the next participant to carry out the activity.
  3. After most or all of the participants have carried out the activity, return to the previously resistive participant and ask him/her to try carrying out the activity.