Why we use Actors to teach Leadership Skills

 What is leadership really about?

To my way of thinking it is all about people skills. The ability to lead others in an empowering and positive way. I often talk about emotional intelligence and advanced interpersonal skills, but these terms don’t really portray the guts of what leadership is really about.

  • Leadership is being able to share a vision that inspires others to work with you.
  • Leadership is knowing when to speak up at a meeting, even if it’s uncomfortable to do so.
  • Leadership is knowing when to be quiet and let others shine and take the credit.
  • Leadership is not taking things personally, and controlling your impulse to be upset over something that has been said.
  • Leadership is showing others you care and that you are a stand for them being brilliant.

I could go on and on. But do you notice that these skills are subtle and not necessarily easy to demonstrate or teach.Bruce & Joe

That’s why I use actors to teach leadership lessons. Professional actors have spent their career learning how to externalise the complex world of relationships and emotional engagement. Whilst most of us do our best to hide our emotions, and not show that we’re upset, actors are trained to let us in to the murky world of emotional upset. Actors can take those confusing and conflicting moments and let that emotion show in a very real and gritty way. Instead of covering up, actors can highlight the moment of upset and the very real pain caused by miscommunication and thoughtless actions.

Why is this critical to leadership training?Taylor 1

By guiding us gently through the moment of upset we are able to get much closer to our own emotions. We’re also able to really connect with the people around us; understand their motives and what drives them. Actors help us to have a heightened awareness of our own emotional landscape, and deeper understanding of what others are going through. With this heightened awareness we’re much more likely to tread carefully around others and show genuine empathy. This is the starting point for an exceptional leader.

“I think that at their cores, psychology, cognitive science, and theater are all trying to do the same thing, which is understand why people do the things they do, our range of behaviour, and where it comes from,” Goldstein says. “It’s just two different ways of looking at the same question.” Judith Ohikuare 2014.

Of course, this all sounds very serious which is why we always infuse humour into our scripts and make sure our audience are having a laugh whilst we’re gently showing them the pitfalls of poor communication and interpersonal skills.

Dynamic Conversations aims to engage people in a complex and entertaining conversation around workplace relationships, thus training a new generation of emotionally aware and responsive leaders. We do this with our Theatre, our Training Videos and our Workshops. We use professional scripts and professional actors to entertain, educate and inspire.

If you would like to discuss how our unique and creative way of training teams could enhance your team effectiveness please give me a call on 0421 706068 or email carol@dynamicconversations.com

I look forward to talking to you.


Carol Hautot