Don’t worry, nothing too sinister here. But after our recent 'Scripts and Dialogues' webinar, we’ve had some request from our directors and department managers for advice on role playing.
Blogger: Hermione Gardiner
Role play is not just valuable in the new business arena but can be a great way to build up the confidence and dialogue skills of your team.
Role playing provides your staff with a chance to act out, rather than merely talk about ways to solve problems effectively – the benefits are endless. It also gives you the opportunity to provide them with supervised practice, feedback and support in dealing with 'real life' problem situations.
As a manager, this kind of teaching technique will come naturally to some. However, for those who haven’t dabbled much in role play for your team, or are looking to improve, we have some tips here for you:
- Try to give advance warning of a role play. Some will need time to mentally prepare for this (or time to find an excuse not to attend, which of course they won’t be able to get passed you...)
- It is helpful for you to take the lead and act the situation out first to get things off to a good start.
- Be sure to clearly define the situation and roles to be played (some may wish to write the situation and role down first)
- The staff should be encouraged to be realistic in role plays – but should also to understand that it will usually feel a little awkward and unnatural. (The point is that skills will translate naturally in a real life situation.)
- Gentle encouragement may be needed for some staff where as some staff will take at it like a fish to water (those will be your initial volunteers).
- It is fine for you to coach them to portray their roles during the action as it provides feedback and support. Always try to swap the roles to allow both parties to have a go at each role.
- Praise all role play efforts. There is no wrong, just room for improvement.
- If there is a group situation, always encourage the group to be the one to provide the feedback on what they did well, what they could improve on and their own suggestions for the situation.