Adaptability in Uncertain Times

In today’s uncertain economy, and ever-changing workplaces, certainty is more difficult to achieve – and less useful – than ever before. Embracing uncertainty, and loving it, will bring you closer to living and working in the present, more adaptable and resilient.

  • Uncertainty is a potentially positive state and a ‘source of possibilities’ for investigation.

Being comfortable with uncertainty helps shift your over-thinking – or not thinking – into an explorative mindset that imagines alternatives.

Your adaptability quotient or AQ – is different to IQ and EQ. It is not IQ, how well you know facts or EQ, how you manage your feelings. It is how well you use these to adapt to change.

Adaptability can be learned and it can be determined by your ability to respond to the following three things.

  1. What if?

Can you imagine multiple possibilities and create simulations of future scenarios?

  1. Active unlearning

To unlearn patterns of thinking, do you apply a beginner’s mindset to new challenges?

  1. Focus on exploration

Will you avoid doing what you’ve always done that won’t always work in the multiple versions of the future?

Finally, these will all help you to –

  1. Embrace uncertainties

Try thinking of uncertainty as an opportunity, rather than a problem or barrier.

When we focus on certainty, based on what has come before, we are less able to adapt to change. We live in a rapidly changing world and in life, business, corporations and government and we are being forced to adapt to change.

Uncertainty is the bedrock of living creatively, innovatively and being adaptable and resilient. “I can handle what comes my way” is a mantra that reminds us that we can take in information and situations fully, and respond appropriately with growing confidence.

Each day we encounter experiences, even in the most mundane of tasks. Open-mindedness allows us to recognise differences and surprises –each of which offer the chance to adapt and respond more in the moment.

Exercising adaptability can take a while, and simulation speeds this process up. Through learning in-practice with roleplaying scenarios, the learning experience is visceral and fast-forwards our adaptability quotient.

For information of how Roleplay Australia can utilise roleplaying and simulation for you and your group, contact us.


For more see:

1 Hart, W., Tullett, A.M., Shreves, W.B. & Fetterman, Z. 2015, ‘Fueling doubt and openness: experiencing the unconscious, constructed nature of perception induces uncertainty and openness to change’, Cognition no. 137, pp. 1-8.

2 Natalie Fratto’s excellent TED talk.



How Soft are your Skills?

Research shows that the changing way we work – collaboratively, with complexity, agility and adaptability – demands people develop and use soft-skills to best apply technical skills and knowledge.

It will make the difference between someone who is competent and someone who is adaptable, innovative, and able to embrace rapid rates of change faced in their working environment.

We know, through advances in neuroscience, that people can develop these qualities with the right culture, support and systems within which to work. They can be fast-tracked with communication training, mentoring and coaching.

So, let’s re-think what soft skills are and break them down into visible qualities.

What are the top seven soft-skills for success? *

  • Communication
  • Collaborative teamwork
  • Flexible adaptability
  • Future-focussed problem solving
  • Critical observation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership

For the first article, let’s consider the essential qualities of great communication:

  • Listening – do you listen well, ensure you understand what is required and respond with confidence?
  • Personalising – do you meaningfully draw on personal experience and provide examples that demonstrate your understanding?
  • Articulate – do you speak clearly and thoughtfully in structured sentences that address the listener and form a simple narrative?
  • Empathy – do you show empathy with the other person, helping them to achieve what they need and to feel at ease?
  • Openness – do you show you are open to the other person, encouraging a more relaxed atmosphere that supports the nature of the conversation taking place?
  • Relaxed confidence – is your presence natural under the circumstances and encouraging a sense of authenticity?

It is these qualities that will set you apart from someone who is less well able to communicate ideas and gain engagement under stress.

Using professional roleplayers to create situations that replicate communication challenges provides valuable insights and techniques to build individuals and teams’ communication skills.

For a stress-free discussion about how using roleplayers can fast-track communication skills, contact Roleplay Australia.

* D Bortz, 2019

Getting it Right – Selecting the Best Candidate for the Job

During recruitment, discerning who will be the most suitable person from a short-list of candidates is an important consideration. When we consider that making poor hire decisions will cost 50% to 250%* of an annual salary to replace unsuitable staff, personal preference in the selection should only be part of the story.

Likewise, hiring a person who is not a good organisational fit, usually leads to them becoming disengaged, costing approximately 35% ** of their ongoing annual salary.

The Future of Jobs Report, published by the World Economic Forum in 2018 reveals that the four most important skills needed by the workforce now and into the future are:

  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • People Management

These ‘soft-skills’ are best observed in the management of day-to-day workplace situations and are difficult to evaluate during interviews.

Through experiential interviewing, however, employers have the opportunity to observe candidates managing real work situations and compare results with other candidates. At the same time, candidates have an opportunity to showcase their individual qualities, skills and aptitudes to leverage their employment chances.

The use of professional roleplayers to portray job-tailored scenarios heightens the reality of the workplace situations that the candidates will face. This provides employers with insights into candidates thinking, problem solving skills and creativity to manage people and adapt to the job’s varying demands. Importantly, the soft-skills shown reveal how someone will leverage their unique potential into the future.

The use of roleplayers builds confidence that good hiring decisions are made. Candidates gain insights into the job requirements, overall engagement and genuine belief in the match is achieved. And of course, costly re-hiring is largely avoided.

Roleplay Australia’s actors have many years’ experience with recruitment assessments. Contact us hereto find out how we can help.


*Society of Human Resource Management

** Gallup

Actors’ five unique skills for corporate roleplaying

Roleplaying has been a regular component of training courses. Usually, candidates take turns in roleplaying situations so their colleague can explore solutions, play with their ideas and have some fun. But it is a powerful tool in actors’ hands, after all they are in the business of ‘playing roles’.

Why use actors?

The art of acting is a lot more than learning lines. Actors are expert improvisers, and create believable characters and in-the-moment performances. When we watch actors on stage or film, we can be transported to places that seem real and believable.  It’s easy to forget we are watching actors act.

The same applies when actors take on a corporate roleplay scenario. The person they are interacting with quickly forgets they are with an actor, as the situation comes to life. When these roleplay scenarios are being used to assess training the actor combines a realistic situation and reaction to the candidate, with a consistency each time to ensure the assessment for each candidate is fair and comparable.

In summary, the actor’s five main skills in roleplaying are:

  1. Actors are able to take on the traits of an individual customer or personality type to enhance sales and negotiation training.
  2. Actors are comfortable with heightened emotions whilst improvising in response to the participant and within the scenario.
  3. Actors create ‘real’ situations in imaginary circumstances so that participants practice inter-actions as if they are real.
  4. Actors can articulate meaningful, honest feedback based on what their character felt and experienced to assist the participant to better understand their own experience.
  5. Actors can deliver repeated, consistent performances to support reliable and fair assessments in training and recruitment situations.

Next time you are assessing candidates or want to improve the results of your training and development days, contact Roleplay Australia here.

Roleplay adds value to training and development

When committing resources for training and development programs, there is a danger of investment in classroom based or online resources that can leave people stranded to attempt to assimilate the training into their work.

The addition of roleplaying into a program is being incorporated more often in business, sales and recruitment programs than ever before. It exponentially increases the value of the program by enabling people to practice new skills as they develop.

Here are a few benefits of Roleplay:

  1. One key benefit of using roleplay is to build confidence.

When a team or individuals roleplay, they experience scenarios in a safe, positive, respectful environment for the first time, and process the experience as they practice. This opens their minds to new ways of seeing and thinking about real situations and helps gain confidence in their everyday work. Transitioning newly acquired skills from the classroom into everyday working life is smooth and less stressful. People are also better able to manage and implement change when they have experienced new challenges confidently.

  1. Sustained involvement in roleplay develops deeper skills.

Deeper skills practice and enhanced confidence helps develops an individual ease with other and therefore improved relations with colleagues and customers. Problems are lessened and solutions more easily attained when communication is well developed.

  1. Gain immediate feedback.

Actors have the ability to create authentic characters and actions, whilst retaining the ability to reflect and articulate what an experience felt like. Gaining objective and clear feedback helps an individual to better understand their impact and make adjustments in their work to improve their effectiveness.

Using professional actor-roleplayers achieves the above with an authentic roleplaying experience. Actors possess specific skills for the job from their work on-stage and screen. Usually, actors are on stage with other similarly trained actors, but in roleplaying they are interacting with people who are often nervous about roleplaying at all. So, an actor-roleplayer also possesses the ability to support and help an individual reach the goals within a scenario whilst also maintaining their own limits of the scenario.


Roleplay Australia has been specialising in roleplaying for over 25 years-experience and, our team includes the most experienced roleplayers in the country.