Scenario Based Training

At the Mandt System, we believe that staff members have the right to a safe workplace.  We also believe that all individuals receiving services have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Our approach to conflict resolution in the workplace utilizes positive behavior support within a trauma informed culture.  The goal is to see conflict as a potential catalyst for positive change and to prevent conflict from escalating into a crisis. However, if conflict does escalate to crisis, staff must have the tools and skills necessary to preserve safety for themselves, their coworkers, and the people that they support.  This means that staff must not just have a basic knowledge of crisis management and conflict resolution steps; rather, they must have a high level of skill if they are to be effective in challenging situations.  

After basic skills in crisis management and conflict resolution have been developed, these skills can be combined to “connect the dots” by utilizing scenario based training.  Scenario based training utilizes the creation of realistic scenarios that mimic what may be likely to occur in the workplace (Moats, et al., 2008).  These scenarios are then used to teach problem solving skills in a safe environment.  The three-step process is:

Scenario development

Utilize data to develop scenarios that fit the workplace environment.  These scenarios should be based on circumstances that staff members are likely to encounter.  Scenarios allow staff members to prepare for real situations in a safe environment.

Scenario utilization in training

When delivering scenario based training, scenarios should have clear learning objectives and should be constructed to create successful outcomes.  The scenarios can be paused to allow for feedback/coaching.  The training facilitator should guide course participants through the scenario and maintain an environment that supports the psychological, emotional, and physical safety of participants throughout the exercise.

Processing/debriefing

A processing session should be held after scenario-based training is implemented.  Processing allows the facilitator to check in on the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of course participants.  It supports the instructor in determining if the objectives of the exercise were met, and it gives the participants the opportunity to learn from each other.  Some questions to ask:

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What are the major learning points from the exercise?

John Windsor – Director Technical Curricula

Moats, J. B., Chermack, T. J., Dooley, L. M. (2008).  Using scenarios to develop crisis managers: Applications of scenario planning and scenario-based training.  Advances in Developing Human Resources, 10(3). 401-418.

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