>Role Play? I’m just not into that

>Seeing there are plentiful blogs to welcome you, get you kick started and provide ample advice on setting realistic resolutions for 2011, I’m going down a different track. I’m starting a weekly posting on something within the L&D world which would be interesting to open up to you all. In effect, I want you to write the blog.

The idea is simple enough. I pose a situation, you respond and I’ll try write a post to collect thoughts on (potentially) solving said situation. I’ll tweet it out once a day until Friday.

Often in training it’s necessary to practise the skills you are learning. But, is role play the best way to achieve this? I’ve never been a fan of role play. But before I get into it, let’s have a quick thought about why they’re used. Effectively they’re used to help people take a look at how they might use a learned skill and receive some feedback on it. That’s about it really. Like I said, I want your help in writing this, so let me know your thoughts, and on Friday, I’ll pull them together.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

7 thoughts on “>Role Play? I’m just not into that”

  1. >From the point of view of a trainee rather than a trainer I can't say that I'm a great fan of role play as I find it hard to get into character when not standing in front of someone that I might be expected to play that scenario out with.That said after the initial battle of getting into character and provoking a scenario that I might not normally have with the other role player, the feedback to how I've acted is usually really constructive and helpful.

  2. >I hate role playing. There is no realism in acting out a semi-scripted conversation with someone you often already (partly at least) know. You can't plan for every response and scenario and, while I see some merit in discussing on a practical level how a new skill might be used, I've yet to experience a role play which hasn't been a painful experience for everybody. I also think most people are phenomenally uncomortable being judged on their debut performance of a new skill. You want a chance to play around with it by yourself before receiving feedback really, and you certainly don't want a group of people sat there judging you. Horrible, horrible things they are! Surely there's a better way…!

  3. >I'm very careful about using role play as I want to judge someones job/life skills rather than their acting abilities.Role plays are completely unrealistic because customers DO NOT HAVE SCRIPTS! We can discuss and debate customer/event scenarios but lets leave role playing to the cast of Fame!Role plays are generally dreamed up by sales managers who know the job/product inside out and are able to use them as a battering tool. Give the delegate the knowledge, give them tools to implement that knowledge and in some cases observe it in practice. Then coach performance and never demand performance.Great blog and great feed back comments

  4. >I tend to agree with what others have said so far… I don't like taking part in role play and as a facilitator I have never been comfortable using role play with participants. I do learn by "doing" so I can sort of see the benefit of putting myself into a situation and working through it in order to learn but role play just feels too "unreal" and very embarrassing. Hence the reason I am yet to book an appointment with my outplacement company to take part in a role-play based interview skills lesson!!!

  5. >So here is something for you…I hate role play. Pretending to be someone you're not is just weird….. :)Seriously I hate it…and my thoughts were that so did everyone else. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at my current company some years ago and was in a meeting with a senior exec preparing for a redundancy meeting and he turned to me and said, "so can we practice it….as if you're the person?" Since then, I've found that in our culture people like to use it…not because they find it real but because they find it helps to practice….just like cricket nets I guess.So as in all things, it probably depends on a number of factors….learning styles, purpose and organisational culture. I still hate them though.

  6. >From a facilitator's perspective there's nothing more irritating than hearing the words: "great session but we would have liked a few more role plays" yet during the session they sat there like stones! I only used a role play in my workshops because it was so bad it was funny, and after a long day everyone loved it! Yes, it was that bad! It was even called "Taking Corrective Action"!There are other ways to practice and apply classroom learning – Micky Mouse Land role plays aren't one of them…

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