What are the two words that strike fear into the heart of your participants? You know it! ROLE PLAY! Public speaking tends to be in the top ten of what people fear the most and it’s usually more feared than dying. What happens when most participants hear those dreadful words? Their cortisol will rise and they will go into flight or fight mode and the result is not good. Fear and fearful anticipation get in the way of learning. We want them to learn, to practice and to feel comfortable doing it so that they will be able to apply the new skill on the job. So, it is our job as Facilitators to put our participants at ease by making it less traumatic. Here are three ways you can do that:
- Take the time for people to get to know one another. Icebreakers, table group discussions, partner shares all reduce anxiety caused by not knowing others and then your participants will be open to participating and less worried about looking or feel foolish.
- Don’t call it a role play. We at Red Carpet Learning like to call it reel play! It’s a fun twist on using a movie term. We also call it guided practice and skill practice. Make it a habit to use these terms and you will have succeeded in reducing your participant’s anxiety.
- Make the “reel” play as close to real life as possible. Use situations and scenarios that reflect what happens on the job and have your participants play and practice as themselves.
When we put our participants at ease, they will take their learning to the next level. Now go break a leg!
Chris Perillo, Countess of Curriculum and Training
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