Recently, I surprised a team member by requesting that we role-play a difficult situation I had to address the following week. “Joey, why do you want to role-play this? As Executive Partner with tons of experience, why are you wasting time role-playing this discussion?” he asked. Great questions that brought to light how often we don’t gain the benefits of role-playing.
I had an upcoming very difficult conversation on performance with an individual who has a strong and unique personality. This confrontation was full of risk to turn out badly for our firm and the individual. There was no doubt in my mind, for this conversation to have any chance of being a win/win, I had to be in the moment and prepared. I knew that my ability to remain calm and strong was critical. The only way to generate the experience I needed for this uncomfortable situation was to practice it. When we are faced with difficult things, it helps when we lean into them. Role-playing is a great way to lean in.
For us to be our best, we must practice these situations. Role-playing helps us simulate the experience we need to work on with a winning mindset. Role-playing often generates scenarios that we had not anticipated. It allows us to practice both good and bad outcomes. And it helps us anticipate challenges and excuses thus preparing us to deal with them from an experienced mindset.
When we are too scared to role-play situations, there’s little doubt that we will not be our best when the moment happens. Winging it is not how we reach our full potential or prepare ourselves to help others. This is especially effective in client meetings and with business development meetings. Role-playing absolutely makes us more effective. How often does your team role-play to prepare for big meetings?