How to Manage Latecomers
Facilitator Tips Episode 49

How To Manage People Who Arrive Late


This week’s Facilitator Tips episode explores the perennial issue of what to do with people who arrive late for your program, often causing some level of dysfunction or at the very minimum, interrupting your flow.


<< Go to Episode 48   Go to Episode 50 >>


That some people will be late – unintentionally or otherwise – is a fact of life for most programs, yet, this should not excuse you from working hard to alleviate the issue.

This video tutorial shares a unique strategy that flips the responsibility of turning up ‘on time’ onto you to help reduce both the incidence and impact of latecomers.

Click the play button above to learn more about how to manage people who are late.


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Useful Links & Resources


  • Unofficial Starts – take a look at this article to learn more about this powerful strategy that can motivate people to turn up on time.
  • Unofficial Start Activity ideas – click this link to discover a bunch of real, practical strategies you can implement in your own setting to mitigate latecomers.


Video Transcript


Hi there and welcome to the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard, I’m an experiential trainer and author, and today we focus on Episode 49 in our series where we look at the topic of how do you manage people who are late.

Now I’ve been in this field for almost forty years and it’s something that often people ask me, what do you do about students who are late or staff who come late to meetings or to their classroom and so forth. Look, it is one of those things you have to manage, but there are a few tips that I’ve found in my experience that help me mitigate that or at least manage the reality that people are going to be late.

Now people are late just because they’re lazy or something more urgent comes up or sometimes they just think they’re more important than you. You need to accept that first of all, acknowledge that. Relax. If you could relax into it, maybe create some sort of preamble at the beginning of your presentation that is not critical for anyone who is late to have missed, but it also keeps those that are there still interested in what you’ve got to say or to present.

I guess though my most powerful and most potent weapon is this thing called the unofficial start. We talk about this a great deal throughout this series, in particular on Episode 43. And check the show notes. There will be some links. But the unofficial start is that strategy you use to engage people quickly and also amplify the productivity of your program. If you can embed that at the beginning of your program, it’s a bit like the preamble, there’s a couple of things that go on.

First of all, it rewards those who are on time, and then there’s this thing called FOMO. We understand that to be the Fear of Missing Out. Do that often enough. Start on time. Do something that engages people, that’s attractive, and increasingly more and more people are going to want to be there on time because they don’t want to miss out on that thing at the beginning.

And there are so many different ways that you can embed this unofficial start technology into your program. It doesn’t have to be a game or a puzzle. It could be a video. It could be a conversation. It could be just something on the screen that occupies your group. There are lots of different ways.

Indeed check the show notes at www.playmeo.com Episode 49 to get more details about that. But they are some of the critical elements that help me manage people being late. Now I’m not saying if they’re late that’s my fault, but I like to flip the responsibility and think about my program and go okay, what could I do that would encourage people to actually turn up on time, and for me, these are some of my tips.

Look, I hope you’ve enjoyed this. If you have, please share it with your friends. Leave a comment if you’ve got some other ideas about what you’re doing to manage late people.

And I look forward to seeing you at Episode #50, our next tutorial in this series.

Until then all the best and have fun.


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