Practice Makes Perfect
You can call a role play a practice opportunity, but pulses still quicken when it comes to this part of a training course.
People feel exposed, that there is a chance that they may be humiliated, that they may fail.
Good interactive training which helps people to learn has to include practice. This is where learning accelerates; because people are making their own sense of the theory and its relevance to their role.
One of our recent courses included someone who was training for the Olympic Archery team. He said ” It’s quite simple when you practice you have to learn what works, and that may not be what feels right. “
The introduction of good well run practice sessions into a training course separates good trainers from bad. As trainers we have to help people step out of their comfort zone, and try different approaches.
Our role is to enable the perfect practice which will help participants gain new skills, and to allow them the space to think about their own style, how it will work for them and where and when it may work against them.
People learn by doing and good skills training has to include well timed practice, which includes the opportunity for meaningful discussion and feedback.
Here’s some tips to get the best from role play:
- Make it realistic as possible
- Introduce the first practice carefully
- Explain the importance of the preparation, do and review cycle in learning and how preparing will give them a better outcome ( which is better for their confidence )
- Get them to focus on what they personally want to concentrate on and use that in the feedback discussions
- Ensure there is a clear process for giving feedback, which gets everyone to acknowledge what people do well. Skills practice should be about affirming and building confidence as well as learning skills and approaches that will help participants improve.