About half of each Interact workshop is spent practicing applications of the skills. Participants begin their practice using Interact's Structured Rehearsals. These rehearsals are pre-written and designed to foster rapid proficiency. After completing the structured rehearsals, participants move to "Reality Anchors" to practice applying the skills to their own hot issues.
Structured Rehearsals: The saying is that, "practice makes perfect." In Interact training the Structured Rehearsals are the way we make sure that practice time pays off. There are five freatures of Interact's rehearsals that make them especially effective.
- The practice situations are structured, pre-written specific roles for each person in the interaction. these situations apply the skills to the issues relevant for participants and the organization. Interact often tailors these situations to reflect an organization's key priorities, corporate initiatives, or unique challenges.
- The practice situations are guided, so they don't get off track. Traditional "role play" often deteriorates or goes off topic. Interact introduces a Respondent and coach role to make sure the practice stays on focus. This degree of structure also makes sure that every nuance of a skill is explored and that the practice doesn't become too hard or too easy.
- Each session includes 15 to 17 pre-developed practice situations. Research shows that people skills are learned best when participants work their way through sevral "practice loops." In a practice loop the participant attempts the skill, gets feedback, makes adjustments, and tries again. Interact makes sure that each person works through several practice loops.
- The practice is designed for groups of three. Using small groups, instead of having people demonstrate in front of the class, allows everyone in the class to practice at the same time and removes the pressure of performing in front of a group. The use of small groups and engaging situations together produce a playful atmosphere that encourages people to try out new skills.
- The rehearsals cover a wide range of applications of each skill. Participants practice the skills with managers, employees, peers, neighbors, and family members and with problems ranging from poductivity to customer service and from teamwork to quality improvement. Participants explore the widest possible range of applications so that maximum leverage can be gained from the skill.
Reality Anchors: Interact uses reality anchors. (real-life problem situations generated by participants) to identify immediate applications of the skills. Reality anchors are hot situations that participants know they will face. Frequently, these situations are so charged that they would overpower the skill acquisition if they were place before the structured rehearsals. By conducting them after participants have consolidated their behavioral skills, the maximum motivational impact is achieved without sacrificing any skill building.