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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

We tend to think that Leadership Communication is a verbal, intellectual exercise, but it's not. Leadership Communication is not so much about what you say, but how you say it. It is you, in physical form, who is presenting those words, and your body carries its own messages through your gestures and your tone of voice. So it’s possible that your words may be saying one thing, but your body language quite another. Unfortunately, it is your body language which resonates most with your colleagues. Lots of research supports this -- for example, a landmark UCLA study showed that gestures count for a whopping 55% of the impact you have on someone, while your tone of voice makes up 38%. Your words? A measly 7%. So the non-verbal part of your communication accounts for 93% of its impact!Which leads us to a simple and irrevocable truth: When it comes to body language, actions speak louder than words, and your body language can make or break your Leadership Communication.Your eyes, your mo…
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Why the need for offline learning may increase due to COVID

Hardly any industry was spared by COVID-19. Our business was affected too and back in March we saw all our leadership workshops, presentations and roleplay sessions being postponed or cancelled. Each of these cancellations and postponements was right because health and human well-being always come first. Many training workshops and coaching’s continued online and suddenly in the industry, the buzz words were "live virtual training’ and "remote online learning". But the question arises as to whether people as social beings want to and actually can learn new Leadership skills exclusively with digital experiences – without the so valuable touchpoint "real-life".Only when we share experiences with other people do we come alive. Therefore, physical experiences will always be relevant. Even more: I think that after this crisis people will have an even greater need for offline learning experiences in the "real" world and the senses of all of us will become …

Beware of the Sh#t Sandwich!

If you’ve ever attended a management communication workshop you might have come across the concept of the “feedback sandwich.” 
At InterACT we like to refer to it as the “Sh#t Sandwich”.
The idea is that when giving confronting feedback, managers should sandwich it between two pieces of positive feedback: open with some praise, then offer the critical feedback, then close with some more praise to leave the person feeling good. It’s based on the idea that it’s easier for people to accept negative feedback when they also hear about what’s going well.
Unfortunately, the sh#t sandwich is full of problems. Firstly, once your employees recognize what you’re doing, they might start bracing for criticism every time you open a conversation with praise. It can also make the praise itself seem insincere. Or worse…kind of as an insult: like when you have to give a dog a pill and you hide it in a piece of sausage to trick them into swallowing.
This approach can cause the manager’s real message …

The Power of Play

How many times have you come out of a meeting, interview or pitch cringing at how it went and wishing you’d presented yourself better?
Good communication skills are absolutely vital in every area of business – both individually and collectively – and many corporations are seeing the value in being able to ‘act out’ workplace scenarios in order to see where pitfalls or opportunities lie.
Drama-based training providers in Australia, such as InterACT, have been blazing a trail in this alternative approach to business coaching and training.  
Unlike normal training, which is usually directed at improving focus and furthering the business’s core aims, employing acting skills puts you physically and mentally in a situation that forces you to consider what behaviours might lead to the most successful outcomes.
Participants of training workshops will usually understand theoretically what they need to do. The ‘add on’ that using drama-based methods gives participants is to be able to see, hear and…

5 Reasons NOT to use Fellow Students in Roleplay Simulations

Perhaps you've heard this before: Global spending on training tops $350 billion annually. 

Estimated is that more than 15% of this goes towards 'Soft Skills' development with the vast majority focused on Communication Skills, Coaching, Feedback, Conflict Management and Self Awareness. 

That's A LOT of money spent on trying to improve people's interpersonal skills, leading to a growing demand for a high return on investment. The logical next question is, what training method is most successful when it comes to implementing the newly acquired knowledge into day-to-day workplace interactions? 

Research consistently shows that one of the most effective ways to achieve success and a high return on investment is to simulate a real experience by incorporating Role Play into the training programs. 

Roleplay gives workshop participants those “in-the-moment” experiences and it allows them to experiment with the new behaviours in a safe-to-fail setting. Sadly, many trainers and w…

Role Play as Essential Tool in Soft Skills Training

Soft skills are key to effectiveness in life.

From self-confidence to communication skills and emotional intelligence, they all play a significant role in determining a person’s success and happiness. 
Per the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” report, emotional intelligence, creativity and people management will be the top skills required in 2020.
However, 'soft skills training' is always challenging since it requires people to change their habits that have been developed over a lifetime. Hence, for any training to be effective in the development of interpersonal skills, it has to allow for repeated practice and provide extensive feedback.

Roleplay with professional actors is a medium that has all these as built-in mechanisms.
What soft skills can be honed using roleplay?
1. Self-Confidence: Roleplay helps to build self-confidence by encouraging participants to practice difficult situations and try out different strategies in a safe to fail environment.
2. Verbal and Non …

The Secret of Great Roleplayers

Recently I recruited for a new corporate actor for our growing team. 
During one of my interviews, I asked the actor sitting in front of me what he thought to be the most challenging part of corporate acting. His answer: 
“Challenging? If you know your lines you should be ok, right?”
Wrong.
The art of corporate acting is a lot more than just learning the lines of a role-play scenario. 
Corporate actors are expert improvisers and can create believable characters and in-the-moment performances. You know that feeling when you watch actors on stage or film, and you are transported to places that seem real and believable. Well, the same applies when actors take on corporate roleplay. The person they are interacting with quickly forgets they are with an actor, as the situation comes to life.
At InterACT we only work with first-class role-play actors.Our actors are trained to create those ‘real’ situations in imaginary circumstances so that participants can practice interactions as if they are re…