In previous blogs, I’ve written about how critically important it is to be adequately prepared before delivering any training session.  The fact is though, no matter how well prepared you are, there’s always likely something that will go wrong and how you handle it will affect you.

If things do go wrong (and they frequently do), I like to think of these as a ‘curveball’ because it’s not going the way we expect it. However, we still have that opportunity for the ‘ball’ to arrive where it was meant to.  A great example of how easy things can ‘curve’ is when you arrive at a venue nice and early but you’re the first there, and you can see the clock ticking. Despite having asked if there was access and telling people what time you will arrive, sometimes things beyond your control mean that you are waiting somewhere for someone.  This is where your state of mind could turn and start to affect your day; how will you handle things when they don’t go to plan, especially right at the start?  If you are a hugely organised person like a lot of us who deliver training, it’s very easy to look at this negatively and then start to think that a perception of disorganisation will be given to your delegates.  Once you begin to believe this, it’s very easy to get into this negative spiral and before you know it, the day ends up going so differently to how you wanted it.  It’s taken me personally a long time to handle this type of experience, but I’ve developed some great strategies that might help you if you suffer the same:

Accept those ‘curve balls’ are going to happen– Embracing the fact that things will go wrong, it’s never going to be ‘perfect’ will help your mindset and help stop the negativity breeding.

Channel the energy– Focus your energy into thinking about the things you can affect (the rest of the day and future sessions), rather than focussing on what’s been and you can’t change.

Use the experience to learn– Turn the experience into something you can bring out into your training sessions; is there a great example right there of learning for you and your delegates to share.

Reflect and record what you did– Reflection of how you coped and what you did will help you in the future if the same or similar happens again.  If you aren’t good at remembering, then make sure you keep a note of what happened and what you did to refer back to.

These are a few of my coping strategies for when things don’t go quite right. I have learnt to use these as I hate it when things don’t go as planned.  I had a huge tendency to hold onto it when I really didn’t need to, and quite often it could make my performance dip.  Have you any coping strategies for when things don’t go right for you?  What are they? I’d love to hear from you if you have?

Scott Fraser is a Master Trainer at Target Training and delivers our PTT Train the Trainer courses and our Advanced PTT Train the Trainer courses.  You can read more about him here.