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Doing Business in India For Dummies® by Ranjini Manian

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Trying Role Play

Indians enjoy drama and acting, and what they perform they remember. They especially like situational role playing. Acting is an exciting way to be taught and not a form of teaching that’s often used in formal Indian classrooms.

One of the best uses of role playing I’ve ever seen came from an American trainer named Tom, who taught an Indian software call center team how to handle tough customers. Tom was playing the tough customer role, and he had one of his students trying to field the faux call. At one point, Tom said, “You guys are always making excuses. You can’t really solve my backup problem!” The student was really getting into the situation, and explained, “We are here to help you, Tom, and we can solve the problem.”

“Yeah? How?” Tom demanded, continuing the role play.

“We will walk you through your screens, understand the error, and offer solutions,” the student said.

“What’s different about that? The previous guy did the same things but my software backup problem is back again!” Tom countered. The student didn’t have any more tricks up his sleeve, so Tom took over his role and showed the trainees how to deal with the irate customer. His audience was engrossed and soaked up the material like sponges.

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