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  • Writer's pictureMark Cullens

Exploring Virtual Reality (VR) in Soft Skills Training

Updated: Feb 8

Wearing a PICO NEO 3 PRO VR headset
Our clients using VR

Why Virtual Reality (VR) for Soft Skills

When you contemplate the capabilities of virtual reality, what scenarios come to mind? Do you recall wielding a lightsaber, demolishing bricks to the beat of the latest pop tunes? Perhaps you reminisce about navigating an outpost on a distant planet or simulating a tranquil beach vacation from the comfort of your home. Virtual reality has the remarkable ability to transport individuals to exotic or alternative locations, allowing them to interact and move freely within these imaginative realms.

The power of virtual reality extends beyond entertainment; it is a valuable tool for hands-on learning in environments that are potentially hazardous or challenging to recreate. It offers a platform where individuals can experiment with realistic simulations before applying acquired skills in the real world. This hands-on practice fosters exploration, repetition, and the essential element of failure – a crucial cycle for learning and growth. This learning approach is vital not only for hands-on technical skills but also for soft skills training.

Soft skills, encompassing leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity, are integral aspects of workforce development. Often referred to as interpersonal or non-technical skills, their intrinsic nature makes them challenging to teach and practice. However, the benefits of training in soft skills are immense. A study by the MIT Sloan School of Management revealed a staggering return on investment (ROI) of approximately 250% within eight months of completing a 12-month soft skills training program focused on communication, interpersonal, and social skills.

Soft Skills in the Workforce

As our workforce continues to embrace remote arrangements, the complexity of soft skills training intensifies. Traditional methods face significant challenges in improving these skills from a distance. This is where virtual reality soft skill training becomes a game-changer. Its immersive and interactive nature sets it apart as an ideal solution for training both in-office and remotely.

The effectiveness of virtual reality in soft skills training stems from its fully immersive, realistic, and true-to-life interactive experiences. Immersion is particularly critical for distance learning, allowing learners to be digitally placed in various real-world scenarios, such as, cafeterias, or meeting rooms. This level of immersion fosters an increased sense of presence, leading learners to respond and interact with the virtual environment as if it were genuine.

VR & Psychological Safety

The significance of this psychologically safe engagement in virtual reality cannot be overstated. It directly influences an individual's empathy towards situations, individuals, or groups. Unlike any other training medium, virtual reality offers a level of immersion comparable to in-person experiences, providing a unique opportunity for learners to feel an integral part of the environment.

Virtual reality facilitates real-life-like role-playing scenarios, allowing learners to practice soft skills in a low-pressure, safe, and accessible space. Whether it's customer service training, presentation skills, crucial conversations, or leadership and empathy skill development, VR simulations offer realistic and repeatable practice sessions. Difficult conversations or resolving workplace conflicts, become manageable through AI-powered avatars providing real-time feedback and reactions.

We constantly strive to push the boundaries of virtual reality's power and reach. Soft skill development stands as the next frontier for VR, offering learners an immersive avenue to practice, explore, recognise, and understand these vital skills through repetitive simulations.

By providing an additional immersive dimension to learning, organizations empower their learners, ultimately benefiting both individuals and the organization as a whole.

Curious to delve deeper into VR training and how to get started?

Background on Digital Energy

We work closely with Bodyswaps to provide organisations with the software combined with pre-configured VR headsets and deployment support. We offer a variety of headsets and accessories including Meta Quest and PICO NEO 3 Pro configured with ArborXR MDM software on-site training. Please see our case studies.

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