Friday, June 30, 2017

Influencing Skills: An out of the box approach

A few weeks ago, we got an opportunity to work on an Influencing Skills workshop.  Now this is a commonly requested workshop and is run in many flavours - from communication to networking to negotiation - depending on the ask.

When Madhu reached out to me, we thought how could we make it different from what is already there in the market. After a few days of intense effort, a design emerged as did a model (more on the model soon).

What we worked with as the outcome was that in this day and age, many of these concepts need to be worked on differently - both from a delivery and a design standpoint.

Madhu being a theatre expert - we attempted to weave in theatre concepts to bring out each element of influencing. For example, we put the team into an activity that was tough right at the start that brought out their own 'blocks' on 'influencing'. And rather than talk about it in the head - they experienced it in the activity and from there, was far more easier for them to surface issues than it would if they had approached it from am intellectual angle.

We used this approach at every stage. And interspersed it with the theory and role plays and situations - which, by the way, they had already brought out and experienced as part of the activity.

It was an interesting experience for us to design it with activities that 'talk' to the topic, but we were curious to see how participants reacted to it.

For us this was an experiment we had been long considering - how to combine the cognitive and the kinesthetic to create a holistic learning experience. And we are happy to share that the participants loved the design, the elicited learning approach and our methods. So, we are now working on our second in this series - an attempt to combine Design Thinking and Theatre. 

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