Cooperation – Activity 5

Role Playing of real life situations

Activity type:
Role playing

Learning goals:
The activity will help the trainees to understand and empathize with someone who disagrees with them and generalize conflict resolution instruction to real life, through sufficient practice in a safe environment.

Group activity

1-1,5 hour

Materials needed:
2 scenarios (pdf)


Work in pairs (2-3 persons)

Study your given role and act accordingly.

Client: describe your opinion and express your anger (where this anger comes from)

Practitioner: focus on what is being said with genuine interest and encourage “client” talking to calm down

Observer: keep notes on the reactions of both practitioner and client

2 Scenarios

Scenario A:
Louis Is Attacked Personally
Louis, a career practitioner, regularly organizes forums where employers present their professional field. Louis first interviews the employers. Later, participants can ask questions. At the start of a forum with 20 participants, Louis has just started interviewing the managing director of a large company from the region. The guest likes to talk and starts to digress from the topic, so that Louis interrupts him after a minute with a question that leads back to employment opportunities. At this moment, one of the participants of the forum suddenly shouts at Louis, telling him to “shut up” and let the guest speak.

Scenario B:
Maria the Quarrelsome Mother
Helen, a student, attends a career counselling program together with her mother, Maria. Maria is a financial analyst who owns her own company. She wants Helen to study economics so that Helen will be able to take over the company in the future. When Robert, the practitioner, announces that Helen expressed her interest in becoming a teacher in a career interest questionnaire, Maria gets upset and starts yelling at Robert. She claims that the career questionnaire is invalid because she knows her daughter better than anyone else and she knows best what suits her daughter.

Questions for reflection:
  • What was your overall experience on this activity?
  • How easy/difficult was it to try to avoid conflict and calm down the client?
  • What techniques proved to be more effective/ineffective?
  • How does this activity help you move forward in the counselling process in terms of cooperation and conflict management?