Our brains aren’t built for multi-tasking
Role-playing is at the heart of most team workshops – but it requires participants to focus on two tasks at once. They must concentrate on playing their assigned role while also focusing on applying a new skill. Researchers have discovered that multitasking actually slows us down and hurts performance because the brain is designed to focus on one task at a time. The net effect is role-playing can make it harder to learn new skills, not easier.
Behaviour change takes practise
Without an opportunity to practise new strategies and behaviours as a team before going back into the cut and thrust of every day work life, the try-fail learn cycle necessary for understanding and change to take place is short-cut.
Discomfort in the wrong place
Learning requires a certain amount of discomfort prior to achievement. This is healthy in small doses because it helps you understand that you still have some learning to do. Role-playing amplifies this feeling of discomfort to the point where it disrupts the learning process. Many people feel awkward when they have to pretend to be someone else, and this can manifest in disengagement.