Le Nouvel Economiste on role-playing in French business.
Edited by RHYMER RIGBY: firstname.lastname@example.org.
'No, it can't be!' shouts Lionel, commercial director of a textiles firm, who can't believe the rude, angry man that he is watching is an accurate portrayal. His company has been using role-play for several years to shed light on dysfunctional internal relationships. 'The actors exaggerate what's going wrong in a real workplace situation,' says Beatrice Aragou from the Nantes conservatoire. 'You don't attack anyone by name, but everyone knows who's being talked about.' There are some 30 theatrical troupes offering this widely accepted service in France. Where once role-plays were used for technical issues, they now represent a kind of social catharsis.
'We call it the Mary Poppins strategy,' says one very senior (anonymous) manager.
'A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.'