Role-Playing: How Truly Effective Is It?

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Role-playing is thought to be an excellent technique to enhance people’s soft skills; however, its effectiveness is heavily dependent upon the personality traits of an instructor’s audience. In fact, role-playing is utilized best with naturally outgoing individuals because of its requirement for students to get up in front of the classroom and act out scenarios. And all too often, people are simply too intimidated or shy to do that in front of their peers.


Therefore, it is critical that trainers perform some kind of initial personality and skill evaluation of their students in order to decipher whether or not role-playing would be a successful technique to employ. If role-playing is determined not to be the best technique to equip learners with the soft skills to successfully perform their job roles, other techniques must be applied in the classroom. Most often, trainers will take it upon themselves to educate their students through lecture or by example. Trainers are usually vivacious by nature because it is their job to engage their students and, as a result, learners may simply learn by observation.


Creating small teams also is considered a good technique to equip people with soft skills; however, this may still be a difficult situation for extremely introverted individuals. But even so, such students need to learn how to relate to others in order to be successful managers or leaders in their jobs. For extremely introverted individuals, it may be beneficial for trainers to spend some one-on-one time with them.


In the end, because it is becoming all too common for technically proficient IT professionals to be promoted to managerial positions—whether or not they have the skill sets required—trainers will have to revamp the way in which they teach soft skills and most likely have to grant more time throughout in their classes as well.

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