Role plays in training

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Role plays
I read some casual research on delegates

29% reported hating role play
26% said they didn't like them
29% said they were ok
16% reported that they enjoyed them

Role plays don't suit everyone as is evident from this data (I cannot qualify or source it) and I suspect most trainers would suggest that it's mainly down to difference in learning styles.

Other trainers may suspect that role plays are often used because they are a preferred training method sooner than a preferred learning method.

Does anyone have any opinions; Is it trainer's preferred training method or delegate's preferred learning method???

Call Centre Manager


Role plays
First to admit they are not my favourite thing either, but given that training is not (necessarily) about 'having fun' (okay okay don't shoot, of course it helps if it is enjoyable!), but if it's about meeting/delivering learning objectives how important is fun if the actual objective is met. Unless of course there is a better way of achieving the same outcome that does not involve amateur dramatics and ritual humiliation in twos and threes, in which case it's just cruel and sadistic on the part of the trainer!

CC Operations Design Specialist

Financial Services

delivery & realism
I used to recruit and train into our arts marketing contact centre - charity fundraising for the arts which is effectively sales but you don't give them the product! - and we were lucky to have an actor (genuine!)as our head of sales. He was (obviously) fantastic at role plays, and even those agents who didn't enjoy their turn loved the sessions.

Most people will feel uncomfortable in a role play situation, but the ability to handle uncomfortable conversations and situations is often key to the role. The "customer" was always sat in a different room from the caller, and the rest of the group listened remotely from a 3rd location. This made the scenario seem a lot more realistic. Recruits relayed feelings of genuine anxiety etc when it came to making the "ask" that reflected the reality of the job.

Learning styles differ, so people ill always respond differently to role play, but if it is to be effective then it is important that it replicates the reality as much as possible.


Senior Consultant and President

The Thomas center for Global Per

Role Plays
I agree that role plays may initially be the choice of trainers, but I do feel that participants receive very beneficial practical experience by participating in role plays when they are presented and set up appropriately. Learning can take place when feedback is honest and constructive, and participants know they will not be judged, but evaluated for skills necessary to address similiar situations once they are back on the phones.

All in all, role plays have an important "role" in training. I always state when introducing role plays...."this is your opportunity to practice your skills in a safe environment, with others who understand and are familiar with the potential situations. Take advantage and practice, learn and have fun too!.



Role Plays

Ya i do beleive that many a times role plays are very boring and monotonous.Its because some time MAYBE the trainer does not know were in the training to place the roleplay and how.Some time even the particapants feel they are been treated like kids and many a times the trainer does the role play because he has to.
It is entirely on the trainer has to how exciting he can creat a training.
Thats why they say,"Different strokes to different folks.


Contact Centre Trainer

Train 2 Develop

Role Plays
My personal view is that role plays only work if they are as true to the real life environment as possible and are run correctly.

Also, it is interesting when delegates say that they ‘hate’ role plays however on assessment of training it is often the area that many delegates wish they had more time for ….

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