As human beings we learn by doing, by experience. We learn by making mistakes, by falling and getting up again. We learn through emotion.
Emotions are a great guidance in life. It makes us human. Emotions can also be in the way. You choke. You flight when you should have fought. You freeze when you might have been better off running away. Dealing with emotion, your own and those of others, personally and professionally are important skills to have to thrive in life, career and beyond.
Human to human skills have always been essential, but in this era of technology human skills are of ever rising value. In any context. Even when you think of “just” technical environments, or “just” medical environments. Life is about context and situations, as should preparing and therefor training be.
Soft skills (and its training) are all around us, but here are three examples to get your imagination flow considering the fast and profound possibilities of VR for soft skills training.
1. Delivering bad news
As a manager you need to be able to deliver bad news to your team. The way you deliver it however, has consequences, on a personal level, but often also on a business level. The Engineering and Maintenance (E&M) business unit of KLM, the Dutch airline, has 5000 employees and needs new engineers on a regular basis. The technical and safety training is thorough and only top of class are selected. This means KLM team leads and managers have to break the bad news to the ones who not make it and this can lead to uncomfortable situations.
E&M has created an interactive 360 video VR soft skill training for their managers and team leads to deal with such situations. Founded on the CONNECT-model (Compose, Opening, Notice, Now deal with emotions , Explain, Consequences en Terminate) users are put in a situation where they have to break the bad news. They can choose how to do it, what they say and experience the consequence of their approach. An expert is virtually available after certain decisions in the scenario to explain when and why the conversation has gone sideways to support the user in learning the right approach.
There is nothing that beats real life, but this training enables the team leads and managers to practise their skills and be more confident in the delivering bad news and dealing with the emotion that can come along. Repeatable and showing how VR supports having better conversations.
2. The other side of customer service
Customers are as human as they come. They can be happy and satisfied (of course after your great service), but they can also be sad & disappointed and then it is up to you to provide awesome customer service as well.
A large British Telecom company and telecom retailer is harnessing Virtual Reality to train their staff soft skills.
While wearing a VR headset, employees are asked to deal with an angry customer in one of the stores in London. An interactive 360 filmed environment enables the employees to be in the situation and make choices. In the provided analytics (training) managers precisely see the choices the employee makes and determine it’s strengths and weaknesses. These insights can be used in 1-on-1 conversations to improve performance and in classroom settings where group results help in discussing the right approach and learn from peers.
3. Empathy, D&I and anti-sexual harassment
“Try to walk a mile in another person’s shoes.” This proverb, found in many cultures in the world, suggests a way to help us understand each other better, and relates to several empathy-related responses. Different perspectives provide us with different insights, understanding other point of views and consequently effectiveness of interactions. Research shows that people often lack mental frameworks to reference certain situations, so people quite literally don’t understand what certain behaviour feels like and what consequences they have on the other. That goes for bullying, biases in relation to diversity, inclusion & equality, sexual harassment, and much more.
VR scenario’s based on real life case studies help people understand by being in that situation. It is about the build up, the body language and the feeling of the elephant in the room. Immersed in the situation, people around you look at you and you experience how quickly a seemingly non-harmful conversation about going out as a team or having fun as a team can turn into awkwardness or worse.
VR is innovating the way better conversation are being facilitated. Reach out if you want to talk about the value scenario based learning through VR can bring.
VR for you
As these example show, there are already practical, cost-friendly and high impact applications of VR for soft skills. The applications are endless and Warp Studio enables the easy creation and distribution of these kinds of VR training courses. Everyone can do it. Our VR Services can help you create your own first VR scenario. Contact us for questions about VR training for your company.
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