In this article, the author discusses the use of role-playing as a training and development technique for employees in organizations. According to the author, role play as a training technique serves as a multi –skill developing weapon where the trainee not only develops a broader perspective about the task or new role but also the horizon of understanding others behavior resulting into empathy, team work, better communication, interpersonal skills and management development takes place. The method helps in developing both cognitive and affective component of perception and helps in knowing how people behave and why people behave in different ways. The technique also focuses on emotional, behavioral and perceptual basis for development.
The author listed the following objectives of role playing as a training technique:
- Help develop a better understanding of the job
- Understand how to handle a particular situation
- Develop a better understanding of the issues for better decision making
- Help in developing communication, management development and leadership quality
- Help improve the interpersonal skills
- Help provide an insight to understand behavioral patterns of others
The success of this technique depends on the role brief, set circumstances, and the utility expected from the technique. Benefits or outcome of role play as a training technique are:
- It helps in both cognitive and effective development of trainees, and better learning by doing.
- It permits practice by repetition and helps in better reinforcement
- It also helps in improving human relation since it helps I developing empathy
- It helps in making people sensitive towards others
- It helps in better SWOT analysis of individuals and thus the feedback given helps in identifying and overcoming the deficiencies.
- It enables the role player to control his behavior and enact as if he is enacting in a real life situation
- It helps in bringing attitudinal changes in the employees as trainees
- It is a more practical approach than other technique since in this the learning by doing and feedback that whether a behavior reflected is acceptable or requires change can be given.
Before selecting this technique for training, it is essential that the organization identify the objectives, experience of the trainee, and the issue or task at hand. The goal should be with maximum involvement of individuals as participants so that an overall exposure and understanding of attitude, skills, knowledge, behavior, expectation, need for improvement, emotional stability, and required competencies can be identified.
Chaturvedi, V. (2009) Role – Play: An innovative training technique.http://www.indianmba.com/Faculty_Column/FC896/fc896.html