SIDS Program Manual Trainer's Guide SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide

Appendix B

Training Method #6: Role-play

Handling Participant Resistance

There might be some resistance to role-playing. The most important thing in dealing with resistance is to allow it to be there and accept the feelings and thoughts behind it. At the same time, you should try to be clear that you want to do the role-play and why. If you feel good about it, the group will reflect this.

Types of resistance include:

  • Fear of exposure: This type usually relates to a person’s fear of being exposed to the total group and appearing as a fool. One way of handling this is to use multiple role-playing rather than single role-playing. Divide the group into pairs and ask them to do their own role-plays in different corners of the room. Using this method, you should walk around to get a feel for how each dyad is doing and whether the role-play is being used the way it was intended.
  • What is going to happen to me? Generally, this type refers to a person’s fear of not knowing the procedures involved in role-playing. This may be related to lack of knowledge about the topic or lack of role-playing skill. Usually a good explanation of the different steps in the session clarifies the issue. You should ensure that people won’t be criticized by acknowledging how difficult role-plays can be and thanking participants for their bravery in being willing to step outside their comfort zone to provide an excellent learning experience for everyone.