Difficult Situations or Conversations … are you prepared?

Communication Skills CourseConfucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” His view is that we have to experience something ourselves in order to really understand it. Here is one way to get ready. First, consider using the Focused Discussion Method in a “Role Play” situation. You may not be able to control the outcome, but you can anticipate some of the issues and concerns that might arise and be ready for them.

The Focused Discussion Method can help you prepare for any number of situations, such as meeting with a prospective or current client, presenting new ideas to a group, or having a serious performance discussion with a team member or associate. Whatever the situation, chances are that you may be a bit nervous about the meeting, but your secret weapon is that you have practiced the techniques during role play.

Here are some benefits of your role play preparation:

Role playing provides a safe environment to encounter various situations and which build your confidence for the actual encounter.

Sharpen Listening Skills
Effective role playing requires good listening skills the same as effective communications. In addition to understanding the words the other person is saying, it’s important to pay attention to body language and non-verbal clues. Realize that it is better to practice and develop these skills while role playing, rather than trying them for the first time in an actual or critical situation.

Mock Participant
A mock participant or audience can help you identify parts of your presentation and vocalizations that aren’t clear or need to be refined. These preparations will also help you when responding to questions or requests for clarification.

Observation and Feedback
Ask someone to act as an observer for your role play. Observers are quite helpful because of their differing points of view and experience. Plus you have their undivided attention. Always ask the observer to provide meaningful and specific feedback so you can make changes as necessary.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Communication Skills, Professional Skills

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