Scenario Forum
Understanding behaviour. Building confidence..

Our live scenario format is inspired by Forum Theatre. Forum was formulated by Brazillian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal.
He did so because he wanted to make change. He wanted to facilitate understanding in and between people in order to build healthier relationships and a happier, fairer society.

We use this proactive technique within our work to facilitate an understanding of how we behave and interact with others. This creates the ability to have clearer, more conscious conversations thereby building stronger and more successful relationships in the long-term.

Our mission on our programmes is to work with delegates using Forum Theatre to observe what is and is not helpful. The programmes contain a series of scenes developed by us in advance and played out by our actors. Delegates observe a scene from beginning to end, then discuss what happened and what needs to change. The actors run the scene again. This time, delegates can stop the interaction at any point and suggest something they would like the actors to try instead. 

In this way, the delegates collaborate, changing the interaction step-by-step, culminating in a positive outcome. They are able to practise in a relaxed environment, giving confidence to take what they learn back into the work place.

Scenario Examples:

The selection below has been previously created for clients. They are all based on real life experiences. We can adapt these to reflect your reality or design bespoke scenarios. We update these regularly based on what is showing up within the workplace.

1. A pair of managers has just interviewed some candidates for a
recruitment / promotion

Scene shows their discussion about who should get the job. Scene demonstrates affinity bias (“he’s just like I was when I started”); confirmation bias (“she didn’t explain it very well, but I could fill in the gaps”); and seeing categories not the person (“not sure how he would fit in because of his age”).

2. A (senior) manager speaking to HR about a colleague they would like to promote without due process

Scene to show availability bias (“she’s the best I know for this job”); reality of organisational time pressures (“we need someone in this role, I haven’t got time to go through a process”); and ultimately, tactics for challenging a more senior person in an organisation.

3. A performance discussion

Manager does not get on well with colleague (they are not in the “in group”); this leads to adverse comments on performance but the manager has not given the person the same chance as others because they are “different” (perhaps because they are a woman with young children and are perceived as “unreliable” or “lacking gravitas”).

4. A request for flexible working or shared parental leave made by a man:

Scene reflects the difficulty a man may feel making such requests when men rarely do. Manager does not deal with the requests well and offers advice about the perceived impact flexible working or a career break may have on a person’s career.

5. When a health condition becomes apparent after recruitment

An employee was recently recruited and did not make the employer aware of a previous health condition. The manager enters into the conversation with employee with a closed and fixed mindset.

6. Managing an employee’s erratic or challenging behaviour at work arising from mental health

On return to work after sick leave for mental health reasons, employee’s behaviour is erratic. Manager has not thought or talked through the Return To Work strategy with them and does not know how to handle the forthcoming conversation either.

7. Flexible Maternity Returner

Returning from maternity leave an employee dictates their flexible working return to work. Manager agrees to something unworkable with unfortunate consequences.

8. Banter – Raising Concerns

Employee takes a risk by talking to their manager about what they feel is ‘inappropriate banter’ and causing discomfort. The manager initially discounts this as ‘just a bit of fun’.

9. Return to Work Interview 

This scenario explores how to have an effective return to work conversation after a period of absence due to mental ill health.

10. Speaking up 

How can an employee raise a concern about inappropriate behaviour in the workplace in an effective way?
During a conversation between two colleagues it becomes apparent that one of them is being sexist and ageist.