Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Role Play as the Ultimate Sales Training Tool

In any business organization, sales is the department that generates revenue. No matter how good your operation is, how cutting-edge your technology is or how forward-thinking your management techniques are, you must still have a sales mechanism in place, or everything else is useless.

Therefor one of the biggest challenges for organizations is helping their sales staff execute in the field what they've learned in theory in the training room. 
I learned this the hard way myself. 

When I was 22 years old I just started my first sales job as a Recruitment Consultant. A week earlier I finished up a 3 day in-house sales training course and that day I found myself across the table from the CEO of a Transport & Storage business. 

The conversation went like this:
Me: Thank you for the appointment. 
Client: Well, I'm not too happy with my current temp agency so I'm interested to learn how you can help me.
Me: Ok. Uhhm.. I guess I can start with telling you about our fees. We are know…

Storytelling in 3 simple steps

Read these three words:
Child. Rope. Rain. 
What happened in your mind when you read them? 
Did you see a child playing jump rope in the rain?  Or did you see a child hiding outside, afraid to get a beating?  Or perhaps something else...? 
Whatever you saw depends on your childhood, your personal nature and your current state of mind. But no matter what you saw, chances are extremely high that the beginning of a story was starting to form in your mind. 
In fact, you'd have to work really hard to NOT to create a story. That's because our brains are wired for stories. And not only that... We are constantly looking for coherence between bits of information. Nothing is just the way it is. Nothing is just: child, rope, rain. Everything is a story with meaning. Even when we sleep, our brains continue to fabricate the most amazing stories. 
The art of storytelling is very old and at the same time very new. More and more organisations start to understand the importance of embracing st…

Assessing Job Applicants using Actors

Nearly two third of major companies in Australia solely use psycho-metrics in the hiring process as an indicator or candidate competency. But more HR professionals and corporate recruiters are coming up with different ways to assess job applicants and get the best people on board. Using professional role play actors for role play interviews has recently been a famous choice to choose candidates in the field of Sales, Marketing, Management and Service. 

It turns out to be a quick, effective and revealing way of testing candidates on their suitability for a specific position. This is not only because the scenarios reflect common work situations, but also because it allows a candidate to demonstrate their ability to perform under pressure. 

While competencies may also be tested within a competency based interview, it is necessary that job applicants demonstrate them throughout the recruitment process, or you could suspect that they are merely saying that they have them, rather than actuall…

Special Offer!

For 3rd year in a row, our very popular 3x3x3 deal IS BACK!
Each year, from September till December, we offer 3 of our most popular communication workshops for 3 months only in an interesting package for an amazing 3 figure price.

We do this because we believe effective communication is the most important key to any business and we want to make our high impact programs accessible to ALL organizations in WA. Including the organisations with smaller training & development budgets.

Make excellent communication skills a priority in your organization and choose one (or more) of these training workshop packages currently on offer*

* COMMUNICATION 101 – Skills for giving feedback, dealing with different communication styles and overcoming resistance. *EMPHATIC COMMUNICATION – Personal communication skills to build trust, reduce tension and understand / deal with emotions. *CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION –  Understand the core of cultural differences and learn how to communicate better with peo…

How I Failed in Feedback...

Research is finally showing the link between free-flowing feedback and better business results. In workplaces where managers don’t give and receive feedback, employee engagement rates limp in at 29%. On the flip side, when feedback is regularly exchanged between managers and employees, engagement jumps to 79%. But let’s face it, we’re human — and we find it tough to engage in feedback. Many of us —including myself — get defensive when we hear it, or we assume nobody wants to hear it. So feedback gets chronically buried and put off. But it doesn’t have to.  In my experience, there is a simple principle that can play a key role in unlocking feedback: It’s not who you are, it’s what you do As a communication trainer and role play actor, I assume that everyone wants to, and can, get better. When I take this approach I find myself able to engage in discussions about areas for improvement with an optimistic and open heart. But even though I always try to take this approach, my best intentions st…

The Power of Role Reversal

Our son Sam turned three years old last month. And let me tell you...his pretend play is firing on all cylinders! Construction sites, dinosaur battles, horsey rides and chasing the 'bad guys' - all walls of reality are broken in imaginary play as he loves to pretend to be something or someone different from himself.

I absolutely love the fact that our little toddler already knows that the success in life is largely pinned on the ability to positively interact with others and that the best way of learning this is by using different roles and then acting them out.

I believe that we don't have to be kids to learn through play. I believe that in adult learning the concepts of role play are still one of the most powerful and effective ways of learning and developing new skills.

For example: My son loves to switch roles in his pretend play. I have to play him and he get's to play me. During these role plays between me and my son, it is like I am looking in the mirror... Th…

To the person ignoring my email

Dear email neglector,  Last month I sent you an email. It took time and effort to write this message, but I didn’t get a response. My first reaction was,You are just busy. After a few days, I wondered ,Did you get my e-mail? A few days later,What did I do wrong?Then, invariably,What a jerk! It seems like it’s becoming more and more “acceptable” to not respond to e-mails.  In the last month I sent out 20 personal emails and only 2 people replied. And trust me, I get it. You are busy. But that’s no excuse for bad behavior. You seem to forget that there is a human being on the other end who has feelings. Maybe you think your neglect of my email isn’t hurting you...I hate to burst your bubble. This behavior could be more damaging than you realize. So keep reading:  In one study, people who didn’t respond to an email, were evaluated more harshly, assigned more negative intentions and viewed as less credible than their responsive counterparts.Put simply, if you don’t respond, people won’t trus…

The trouble with training

It’s more important for success than technology, strategy, and even products. The only way for your organisation to survive and thrive in the long run is the ability to keep developing your staff. 
Having spent the last ten years designing and delivering interpersonal skills training and leadership development programs for dozens of companies in both Europe and Western Australia, I’ve seen a lot of what works. And what doesn’t.

I believe it is time for some new rules to make training more productive than problematic.  Starting with these 3 hard-and-fast rules:  
Rule 1: 70-20-10 Have you ever sat in a classroom all day for a training program, wondering “how much longer??” Of all the things we do to educate, the least valuable of all are the endless hours we force people to sit still and … “learn”. The 70-20-10 rule suggests learning from challenging assignments like role play simulations should account for 70% of training time, with 20% from peer-to-peer learning and just 10% from tra…

3 Benefits of making role play part of training

Role-play long has been a common training method among military branches, emergency response groups, and companies where quick decision-making is highly valued. So why not in the world of business training? Over the last few years, it seems role-play has been incorporated more often in business training curricula, and for good reason. For example, sales teams that continually engage in role-playing are more likely to outperform their non-role-playing competitors. And managers that get to experience authentic role play sessions turn out to be stronger and more confident leaders.  Benefits of Role-Play Here are just a few of the benefits of making role-play a part of your business training:
1. It builds confidence: When your team role-plays, you can throw any number of situations at them. Role-playing provides a safe environment to encounter these scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day roles.2. It develops great listenin…

Is (s)he the right one?

Experiential learning is hot. More and more organisations are looking for ways to make their business theories 'come to life' and create a higher transfer of learning. It looks like using simulations and role play actors is the way to go. L&D and Corporate Actors have undeniably tied the knot. 

But there are two types of corporate actors in the world: Those who come into the training room and say, "Here I am!" and those who come into the room and say to the learners, "Ah, there you are!" 

The true meaning of a corporate actor, in my opinion, is to be an all round facilitator of the learning process more than a presenter or an entertainer. 
I find that many corporate actors tend to fall into the second category. And I can't blame them. Performing Arts Academies prepare you for many things: theatre, film, perhaps television. But because they are still very much focused on entertainment and there is a huge difference between being an amazing actor and bei…

Practice Repeat Learn

I saw this image today and I love it. Here’s why.

With InterACT WA, I run a consultancy based on practice. When I am not delivering training workshops, I focus on my sales. And every time I try to lock in a meeting with a potential client, I have to remind myself of the number of times I have to contact someone on average before it leads to work. I can tell you that answer: It’s 6.  But the beauty is not in that number. The beauty lives in what happens in the process: because I have to keep trying.

It is what I make people do in my training workshops, so it is also what I have to do myself. A little thing called "Practice what you preach". 😏

Maybe you are trying to communicate more assertively. Or perhaps you struggle with giving feedback to your team. Or getting through that presentation without talking too fast. Whatever it is: When it’s important to you, you don't stop after the very first attempt.

In my training workshops I give participants the opportunity to prac…

Feeling on Command

I recently had the opportunity to talk to a group of HR Managers about the advantages of using corporate actors in Training and Development. I was pleasantly surprised when one of the attendees asked me what we can learn from actors when it comes to managing our emotions.

It is a beautiful question.

Because corporate actors, also known as role play actors, do not only have their own emotions that are constantly present, they also have to manage the feelings of the roles they play in the different simulations. Their job and their art is to convincingly act out and manage all these feelings AND connect to the emotions of the participants on top of that.

While the rest of us just have to master our own feelings so they don't get in the way of life, corporate actors need to manage their emotions so exceptionally well that they are able to "feel on command" during training workshops.

So yes.
I believe there is a thing or two you can learn from role play actors when it comes …

Challenging conversations

When pregnant of our second baby boy early 2015, the midwife at our local hospital detected an ectopic heartbeat during one of the antenatal visits. I was put on a fetal heart monitor immediately and was scheduled in for an advanced ultrasound later that day.

I remember it vividly: I entered the room to have the ultrasound and I could hardly hold back the tears. Fear was raging through my body and the only thought on my mind was: "What if there is something wrong with our baby?"

The specialist carrying out the ultrasound turned out to be an absolute expert in his profession. "One of the best" his lovely assistant whispered in my ear right before he got started. But he also turned out to be completely incapable of dealing with all my big emotions. When I started to cry he avoided any eye contact and kept looking at his screen. He ignored my tears and mumbled that I had to try and lie still whilst moving the transducer around over my belly. After a few minutes he st…