How Role Playing can Impact Your Business

Trainer Development, Train the Trainer

How Role Playing Develops Your Skills

Role Playing

 Role playing is a very effective training method. It is an excellent way to achieve numerous benefits for employees, management, sales, customer-service and support people. Unfortunately, role playing has the belief that it is just “practicing working situations  with an imaginary customer in front of fellow employees.”
It allows a group of employees to act out work scenarios under a controlled condition. It also allows for effective communication, and to build confidence it places a person ‘on-the-spot’, and develops camaraderie amongst the team.


1. Where to apply Role Playing:

Role playing can be used in every department by management and employees to practice business situations. It allows people to build correct habits whilst learning the required system and the best way to communicate ideas to the customer. Role playing should be performed in a low-stress environment, which allows for easy learning. The trainer can critique the role play situation and corrections can be made immediately by the use of more rehearsal. Assimilation of the training material and implementation of a key element of the system can occur quickly in business.

It can be used in the following areas:

• To improve listening skills

• Analysing problems

• Job interviews

• Communication Skills

• Trying out newly-learnt skills

• Improve selling by applying various selling techniques

• Developing teamwork and cooperation

• Problem-solving

• Focus more effectively 

2.   Where to perform Role Playing:

For best results, the set up should be performed where the job will take place, for example, at the participant’s desk, on the phone, at the counter, delivery or warehouse area. Ensure that all necessary notes or equipment is available. The employee should take the role of both ‘customer’ and ‘service provider’.

3.   Getting results:

Select the partners that will work together. For effective learning, match a new employee with a highly skilled co-worker. This will speed up the learning ability of the new person and enhance the culture of the organisation. Place veteran workers together. Be on hand to control the veterans as they may take the role playing too light-heartedly and as a result they will not benefit from the exercise.

 4.   Setting up the scenario:

It is the responsibility of the trainer to set the scene that is applicable to the problem area or the training. Create a variety of customer ‘personality types’ to be played. Match a Driver personality style with the opposite Amiable or an Expressive with the Analytical. This helps to allow the less dominant style to exert themselves. Scenarios may incorporate the ‘silent’ type or the ‘unfriendly’ and ‘rude’ person. Based on the problem area, have scenarios that illustrate the real situation with the purpose of the learner resolving the situation in an amicable and assertive behavior. The scenarios must prompt their partner to take on different roles to reflect the different personalities encountered. Ensure that the role playing partners are changed at regular intervals.

5.   Stick to the basics:

In the beginning, people will be nervous and unsure of this training method or what is required of them. So often they will say, “This is more difficult than working with a real customer.” This is in fact the reality as the customer generally is unaware of the systems in place or how best to communicate or behave in that situation. Keep the entire process simple so the delegates will be able to develop the skill and generate confidence. Difficult and complicated scenarios will limit their confidence that is required for the work place and ultimately learning would not have taken place. Motivate your delegates.

6.   Learning the objective:

The best method of learning the material is to repeat it; either in written form or verbally through questions and answers. Once understood, get the delegates to practice it in the role play format. Once mastered, gradually add more difficult situations. With more and more diverse objections this will quickly enhance skills without putting excess pressure on the employee.

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