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Deep dive into Strivr’s off-the-shelf VR coaching course

Deep dive
Inside Strivr
Professional development
min read
A male VR character seated in front of a desk with arms folded in a virtual office environment

People who lead people have to have certain so-called soft skills, a term that effectively downplays the importance of such skills. Communication, coaching, self-reflection, empathy — these are all critical skills for leadership. In fact, they should probably be called sharp skills or, better yet, emotional intelligence (EQ). Whatever lingo feels comfortable, these skills are invaluable in any organization.

Strivr’s new off-the-shelf VR leadership training course, Coaching 1:1 Conversations, helps people leaders develop their EQ, improve communication skills, identify growth opportunities, and inspire their team members. With the benefit of immersive learning, people leaders can exemplify their roles in just about any organization.

VR for leadership & management training

VR is an inherently effective way to learn because it places the learner in a highly realistic environment that enables the brain to learn by doing. VR training has long been used in certain industries, such as airlines and the military, but now, it’s become more common in the training of frontline workers, manufacturing employees, healthcare professionals, and more.

One of the most undervalued ways in which VR can be applied to learning is in the domain of leadership. And the most effective VR leadership training is immersive learning, which combines the sense of presence of VR with advanced learning theory, data science, and spatial design to improve effectiveness and user engagement.

Ease of integration with off-the-shelf content

Up until now, many enterprise organizations invested in immersive learning have developed custom VR modules based on their specific learning environments and objectives. Walmart and JetBlue, for instance, developed custom immersive learning programs to train employees at scale for very specific purposes: learning how to use a new technology or safety check a particular type of airplane.

But custom VR is not practical for every organization, nor is it always necessary. There are some common skills and situations that can be applied broadly across companies, and that includes the type of soft skills that nearly every leader needs. Off-the-shelf VR training courses can be deployed rapidly, are cost-efficient, and ultimately impart the same measurable results as custom immersive learning modules.

Off-the-shelf VR training experiences are incredibly easy to implement. Unlike custom VR projects, which require a process of creation, off-the-shelf VR can be rolled out instantly for faster ROI.

Two scenarios to tighten up critical skills

Strivr’s off-the-shelf training course, Coaching 1:1 Conversations, allows the learner to apply the 3W coaching framework: Why, Wins, What’s Next.

  • Why: Clearly articulate the purpose of the conversation at the start of the 1:1 coaching session.
  • Wins: Use open-ended questions to encourage open communication and help employees self-discover specific, observable success behaviors.
  • What’s next: Work together to set and commit to specific goals and action steps that will reinforce positive behaviors.

The course has two parts.

  • Part 1: The learner coaches a new customer support specialist on how to better empathize with customers
  • Part 2: The learner coaches an experienced employee who has been making frequent mistakes

Within each module, the learner is challenged to provide clear, constructive, actionable feedback to the avatar in the VR experience. The learner then has an opportunity to re-listen to the recorded conversations so they can self-assess and become better prepared for real-world conversations.

Why is empathy so important in leadership?

Empathy is a valuable trait in all kinds of roles, and in the case of Part 1 of the Coaching 1:1 Conversations course, the learner both learns to manage with empathy and to instill empathy into the virtual trainee. Leading with empathy creates a better work culture and helps with everything from employee retention to customer satisfaction. All kinds of conversations require empathy, and thankfully, it’s a skill that can be honed.

VR leadership training instills empathy in the learner, allowing them to stand in the shoes of their employees and learn how to better navigate difficult conversations.

The measurable goals of Coaching 1:1 Conversations

In addition to sharpening empathic skills, the goals of the course are to teach learners a few key skills when it comes to managing people:

  • Encourage employee self-discovery through active listening, questioning skills, and action-planning
  • Set team members up for success by clearly defining actions and commitments from employees and managers
  • Promote a growth mindset by nurturing positive behaviors over results

When broken down this way, it’s easy to see why immersive learning is a rich addition to the L&D canon for any kind of enterprise organization. Still, for many companies, immersive learning seems like an unattainable goal. Off-the-shelf learning courses provide an affordable way for enterprise companies to invest in VR leadership training even if they don’t have abundant engineering resources or a long product runway.

Visit our Content studio page to discover more off-the-shelf content.

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