Helping deliver the training, which included two days of workshops, were Grant Thornton’s internal trainers, with assistance from London-based training firm Steps Drama.
Managers were placed in different hypothetical situations, some which bear little resemblance to their work, and prompted on how they would respond. Sue Cohen, the British firm’s senior training manager, says the approach is slightly different from role-playing, since individuals play themselves rather than assume character roles.
"Forum theater gets people really engaged and [willing to] try out their newly learned skills in a safe but highly realistic environment," Cohen says.
Post-training, Grant Thornton’s managers are expected to spend 20 percent of their time helping partners and other managers boost their people skills, Cohen says.