Expecting the Unexpected

This critical incident has been developed to reflect a very common experience expressed by graduates in employment. Many graduates feed back from the workplace that theoretical models learned during their course do not always translate easily into practice. Such experiences are common in several sectors including Law, Human Resources and Education. Generally speaking, in any profession where there are elements of dealing with people, "unexpected" reactions can be expected.

This critical incident addresses this issue by exploring the skills needed to deal with unexpected reactions in the workplace, such as emotional or angry clients or work colleagues. The resource firstly attempts to build self esteem and self confidence in the students equipping them to deal with difficult simulated real life situations, as well as adjusting their expectations of these situations.

Resource consists of: live actors in the classroom representing a client/colleague and offering a range of difficult situations with which the students will have to deal. Some students will be chosen to deal with the difficult situation, while other students will act as "coaches" to them, actively building their self esteem and self confidence. The remaining students will act as rapporteurs, analysing what happened in the session and how the techniques of building self esteem and self confidence worked or did not work in any given situation.

Skills addressed: building self esteem and self confidence, effective and assertive communication skills leading to an enhanced ability to deal with difficult situations.

The resource consists of video footage of live actors in the classroom and a programme for a Workshop on Personal Effectiveness.

Skills addressed

Dealing with unexpected and extreme emotions and reactions