There can be confusion sometimes about what you can expect in your ADC. Will there be an in-basket or an analysis exercise? Will the role-play be internal or external? Will there be a presentation or a briefing? Will I need to answer questions or write a report?
The simple answer is it doesn’t matter.
Whether it’s an in basket or an analysis exercise you will need to identify the key pieces of information, decide how they relate to each other, choose your priorities and form specific proposals to address the issues.
Whether the role-play is an ‘internal’ (someone in the same organisation) or ‘external’ (someone from an outside agency), ‘individual’ (you and one role-player) or ‘multiple’ (you and usually two role-players) meeting, you will still need to ask questions and listen to work out what the relevant factors are; you will need to have clear objectives and guide the meeting to achieve these; you will need to show your understanding of the topic and ensure all concerns have been taken on board and tackled.
The name of the exercise doesn’t matter. Here are a few tips to get the best out of ANY ADC exercise:
- Read the instructions carefully and complete the exercise as you are guided- it can be easy to get carried away and do what you think the instructions have said without properly understanding what it is actually asking you to consider
- Take a few moments to work out what your objectives are; there will be some which are very obvious i.e. meet with a member of staff to address a performance issue. However there will be other objectives which are perhaps only implied, but you need to make sure you cover these as well. They won’t be completely obscure,
- Don’t get too hung up on how you present the information (either in writing or verbally) as we all do this slightly differently and really it is the content
- Don’t defer anything to ‘later’ that you can address now, in this meeting. Remember, there won’t be another meeting, so don’t leave anything unsaid.
- If you don’t understand anything- ask. You won’t be able to ask an administrator or assessor, but if you are in a group exercise you can ask a fellow participant what they meant. If you are in a role-play and aren’t quite following, ask the role-player to clarify or elaborate. It’s far better to ask the question than try to guess.