It’ll be alright on the night…
We use the term ‘rehearsal’ in our workshops and initially some people see the word as a disguise for ‘role play’. We mean something quite different: rehearsal recreates, as near as possible, the dynamics of the real thing. Rehearsal prepares the brain so the situation feels familiar.
When you are facing an important conversation or negotiation, rehearsal allows you to test not only what you’ll say but also the way you’ll say it. It provides the opportunity to test different scenarios; to generate options to handle the unexpected and to practice memorable opening or closing questions or statements.
What athlete or team would enter a major competition without testing out their game plan? What actor would step up to a first night without a full dress rehearsal?
We see many people who think they can ‘wing it’ based on previous experience. This can lead to predictable patterns of behaviour which the other party can exploit if they have seen you use the same tactics before. It can allow the other party to spring a surprise you’ve not considered.
When you have an upcoming important occasion in which you need to influence someone, put the time into rehearsal. Test out ’what if’ scenarios with your team mates, with a colleague or at least with yourself and a mirror.