Monday, August 11, 2008

Juggling in 3D 391: Rock and Roll Play

Claire writes: 'What do you think about role play in training? Some people love it, and I find that a lot of people loathe it. When we train people to use coaching skills, role play doesn't work. If the skill of coaching is to have a really effective and powerful conversation with someone, you can't learn it when the other person is making up their story! It's shallow.

At a recent training event, one of the group presented a challenging conversation which he needed to have with a colleague. The group began to work with him to help him understand the situation and find ways forward. It was very helpful. And entirely theoretical. I invited him to do a real play and stand up and have the conversation with me - eye to eye. He started- and then the floodgates opened and he said everything he wanted to say to this colleague. Everything. He was astonished by what he said. None of it could be said to the colleague, but it cleared the space for him to them decide how to take the situation forward. The big change came from him saying the conversation. Not from thinking about having the conversation. 'That's rock and roll play', commented another participant.

There is no substitute for real play and saying a difficult conversation out loud - to yourself or a safe pair of ears.'

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1 comment:

Pete Slee said...

Claire -
that's really interesting.
I find that the car is a good place to "speak out" - There was a time when people might have thought me crazy (or have a very small passenger) - but now I expect they think I'm hands-free on my phone!
And I have lots of conversations with God.