Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018 - 37

Theater

as a Medium for
Soft Skills Training
By Ranjana Mittal, Ph.D.

Soft skills, regardless of level in society,
are key to effectiveness in life. From selfconfidence to communication skills and
emotional intelligence, they all play a
significant role in determining a person's
success and happiness. Although several
effective tools and processes are used
for soft skills training, none seem to be
as effective as theater.

Every year, NTPC, a major power
sector in India, hires a large number of
engineer graduates who undergo four
months of classroom training. A theaterbased training session was developed as
a tool for communication training and
to overcome stage fright. However, the

According to a study by Hamilton
project, in the last 30 years, the impact
of social skills on success has gone
up by 15 percent. And as per World
Economic Forum's "Future of Jobs"
report, emotional intelligence, creativity
and people management will be the top
skills required in 2020.

significant role in

However, soft skills training is always
challenging since it requires people
to change their habits that have been
developed over a lifetime. Hence, for any
training to be effective in development
of social skills, it has to allow for
repeated practice and provide extensive
feedback. Theater is one medium that
has all these as built-in mechanisms.

stage performance. Year after year, on
the day of the event, one can see the
tears of joy running down their cheeks
or the extra team huddle that they get
into.

determining a person's

Different trainers with varied experience
in the field have been using so many
tools for soft skills training, but the
impact that this theater workshop shows
is unparallel. It has shown the highest
recall value and increased effectiveness
in bringing long-term changes in
personalities and behaviors.

outcomes were much wider. It turned
out to be one of the best icebreaker
and team building tools, aside from its
impact on the expected communication
and presentation skills. Now, a 15-day
module is a permanent part of their
induction training. A theater group
works with them over two weeks to
develop the scripts, train the cast, lead
the rehearsal sessions, and help direct
the play. The workshop culminates in a

Shakespeare said, "All the world's a
stage." For this stage called life, drama
is considered an all-inclusive medium.
It embraces all types of topics and
represents all kinds of people and
situations. It is now emerging as a very
powerful medium and is finding its way
as a training tool at all levels from schools
to corporate organizations. An increasing
number of organizations (across sectors)
and leading multinational corporations
are using it and deriving both learning
and happiness from it.

Soft skills play a

success and happiness.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - TRAINING TOOLBOX 20 18 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

| 37


http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/ https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20200910
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
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