Coaching + Drama Based Training - Why it works

Most managers are promoted because of their technical expertise or specialised knowledge.

Being an effective leader is not necessarily a skill that they have already.  So as they are promoted and asked to manage a team, many leaders need support, in order to build and finesse the skills required to do this successfully.  

Coaching helps people develop in the direction they want to travel and is a process based on trust. A coach is a fantastic resource, full of curiosity and questions.  These stimulate the coachee to look at themselves, their life and their work, with greater awareness. Coaches always have the best interests of the coachee at heart, whilst recognising the needs of the organisation as well as the individual.

Most coaching is about examining motivations and changing behaviours. The coachee might intellectually understand that they need to make a change and agree to do so, but like establishing a good habit, repeated experience and practice is required to build up the muscle memory necessary for permanent change.  


Introducing Drama Based Training

‘Experience and Practice’ is where Drama Based Training can come in really handy. In our work with coaches, coachees, participants in our sessions and L&D professionals, we have noticed a dynamic ‘sweet-spot’ where coaching and business acting combine to create powerful opportunities for transformation and behavioural change. 

What makes this combined skill-set so special? 

  • Actors are great at active listening – this is probably the most important skill an actor can have, and the same is true for coaches. 
  • Actors create an experiential environment, they make the theory come alive. Sessions become energised, practical and output focussed.
  • Actors understand stories and can help build a repertoire for client meetings: stories that recount how wonderful you are without having to boast; stories that talk about the values you and your firm has; stories that make the client the hero.
  • Actors have an acute understanding of how to give a convincing performance based on the myriad of personality traits we all have.  This can be particularly helpful when practising conversations in the following contexts:
    • While guiding a team with empathy through recent changes
    • Expressing a vision with energy and passion
    • Driving team performance for excellence
  • Actors understand “performance” and “improvisation”.  They guide exercises to help develop real presence in client/team meetings or in presentations.  
  • Actors also understand performing with “gravitas” or “authority” and can help those newly appointed grow in their role.  
  • Above all actors are well versed in working collaboratively and co-creating which means they can build with the coachee’s skills and talents to help them on their journey to greater things!

A Note on Active Listening

Active listening is the process of really listening to the speaker, reflecting on and fully understanding what they are saying and responding to what they have said, rather than just waiting for your moment to say what you had already planned to say.   In the coaching world, active listening matters because accurate and constructive feedback is fundamental to its success.  Coaches that are also trained actors are able to use this skill to provide specific and germane feedback in the moment, they are also able to develop what they have heard into creating a more immersive and authentic experience for the coachee.