Role-playing is a tried-and-true method to train staff in professional environments to better handle a variety of situations with customers. Hearing the phrase “role-playing” might make members of your dental team cringe, but just as advances in technology have made many dental procedures more comfortable and convenient for patients, new strategies make role-playing training more fun and effective for staff members.
Follow these tips to use role-playing to improve the performance of your team:
- Give direction. Let’s say you are working on a scenario where one person is playing the role of a member of your team, while another pretends to be the patient. Make sure to instruct the person playing the patient not to overplay their part. Make sure the person playing the patient still objects to factors such as cost but remains polite and at least somewhat malleable.
- Keep it short. Each role-playing scenario should be no longer than one minute. This will keep everyone paying attention while also allowing more members of the team to participate.
- Keep it positive. Offering praise before criticism goes a long way. Immediately after each scenario, ask everyone on the team what the role player did correctly, and then ask the role player what he or she did right. From there, shift to constructive critiques by asking the role player what they could have done to improve. Other members of your team can offer feedback, but make sure they do so in a supportive and constructive manner.
- Do it over. Give the role player a chance to go through the same situation a second time and put their feedback into practice right away. Performance inevitably should improve. Once the second round is over, ask the entire team why the role player was better in the scenario that time.
- Keep a team approach. Encourage your team to be cheerleaders, rather than judges. Make sure the entire team gets chances to participate. Ask participants if they are more comfortable running through scenarios a second time; in general, they should feel more at ease because they have learned what to say and what not to say. Once the session is over, summarize the learning experience and be sure to thank everyone for his or her cooperation.
- Change your expectations. Running a role-playing training session should be more about encouraging improvements and rewarding good behavior than catching someone doing the wrong thing. Remember that people tend to be their own worst critics; they are aware of any bad behaviors. Use these tips in your next role-playing training session, and your team members will learn new skills while fostering a more supportive work environment.
Dental Team Training
Need some assistance planning your next training session? Consider reaching out to Bryant Consultants for help. Bryant Consultants’ services can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!