Ask Katie: How do we role-play?


You know the scenarios and the characters, now just act them out using this framework

Q. "I recently attended a seminar that talked about how role-playing can help your team learn how to communicate well, but I don't know how to start using it in my practice."

Start by asking your team what scenarios they would like to see acted out. Perhaps they need help talking about wellness plans, diagnostics or euthanasia.

Pick one or two scenarios to act out at each monthly staff meeting. Expect everyone to participate; this means owner(s), associates and practice managers, too. Establish a framework for providing feedback. For example, a team member from each department plus one member of the leadership team volunteer to provide feedback but cannot provide feedback in back-to-back scenarios. This will encourage everyone to pay attention and consider what feedback they will give during their turn.

Lastly, make it fun. The goal is to practice real-life situations, so they are more comfortable to navigate with a client-but that doesn't mean your staff has to take themselves too seriously. Hold quarterly awards ceremonies (think Oscars) for categories like "best fake accent," "most believable performance," "most improved actor/actress," etc. You might even showcase these somewhere in the practice for the entire quarter.

Katie Adams, CVPM, is owner and management consultant at Agrygation Consulting.

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