Now that you have a clear goal and declarative statements, it is time to plan a rehearsal. A rehearsal can be helpful when you need to think through all the details needed for a production to go well. You are not putting on a play, but you are moving toward your event in Week 3 when you will apply all that you have been doing and learning. So, let’s consider what is needed for your rehearsal.
A covert rehearsal is an effective way of trying out new communication behaviors. Think about a time and place that will allow you to practice your new interpersonal communication skill to meet your goal as outlined in your new behaviors listed in Part 1 (above). By covertly rehearsing in your mind, you make it much more likely that you will perform the behavior comfortably and effectively in real life situations. For example, if you are planning to initiate and maintain a conversation with your neighbor, you should think through a number of possible topics and questions before finally choosing what you perceive to be the best options. In other words, think before you speak. Plan what you will say and do in a particular situation where you can practice your goal.
If you are having a hard time talking to people in your mind, speak to yourself out loud or speak to your reflection in the mirror. Think about the following:
- Identify the situation you would like to practice. Do you want to plan a new conversation, or replay a past situation but change the outcome?
- Where will you have this conversation – in the kitchen, on the bus, in the cafeteria at lunch, at school in a classroom, in the board room, in your manager’s office, or at a friend’s house?
- Consider how your physical surroundings will affect your rehearsal.
- Consider the conversation: What would make it effective? What would need to change?