Role Play Improves Communication

by Ziping See

At work, we often face challenges chasing deadlines for assignments or negotiating a good deal.

Being able to “be in other’s shoes” gives you wider perspectives and hence, better research and preparations before you actually meet the “challenge”. When you’ve considered close enough, you will gain solid points against each argument that you will encounter.

Only when you understand from both sides, you’ve got things “covered”.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Step 1: Think of someone who is bothering your thoughts

It can be related to your workspace, boss, clients, relationship, family, friends or neighbour.

Step 2: Write the person’s name on a paper

These sessions can be done privately. Best to use a real name – brings you closer to the issue and real emotions.

Step 3: Ask Questions

Step in front of the paper and voice out what ever that you wish to say to this person. It can be a complaint or something he/she said that made you uncomfortable.

Step 4: Be him/her

Now, step on that piece of paper and start answering those question from Step 3.  Your partner will need to ensure that you’re speaking from a different point of view (You may need an experienced moderator for this)

Keep in mind that “if” you’re him/her, what are their concerns. Why it’s urgent for them and what makes them angry. If you are capable of being sad, it means the other person will, too. Every one has different roles in their lives and each of them affects each other during the course of the day.

So, imagine you are in that role, who do you wish to speak to? Be that person 🙂