Virtual reality to train your employees on a deeper level with Robin Rosenberg
In a recent episode of Training Unleashed, our host Evan Hackel talked with Robin about how she and her company, Live In Their World, have developed this practical new approach to leadership and employee development.
We know you will want to watch the podcast to absorb everything Robin says about her company’s unique approach to leading.
We are pleased to share with you these edited portions of their talk as Evan and Robin discuss a new, deeper way to train employees and unlock their full potential . . .
Evan: My guest is Robin Rosenberg. She’s the CEO and founder of Live in Their World and she is a psychologist. Let me just start by asking about the name of your company. What does it mean?
Robin: The reason it’s called Live in Their World is because the domain “Walk In My Shoes” was not available! [laughs] Our program, in part, uses virtual reality. It allows people to literally walk in the shoes of people from different demographic groups.
Evan: Scenario-based training is an effective way to train. But you’re really taking that to the next level.
Robin: Correct. VR (virtual reality) is exquisitely good when it’s well done for what we call emotional learning, which is powerful and very different than cognitive learning.
Evan: I’m very intrigued with this. Does this training have to be done in your facility, or can it be done anywhere?
Robin: It can be done anywhere, because of the pandemic.
Evan: Is your training leader-led? Is it done on a learning management system?
Robin: It’s done on our platform. We also provide cognitive learning because emotional learning isn’t enough. I mean, it’s powerful and it’s really motivating. But what we want to do is really train habits.
Evan: So your primary curriculum is around diversity, acceptance and inclusion?
Robin: So you could call it that, although I think what we’re actually about is cultivating respect in the workplace.
Evan: What results do companies see after using your training?
Robin: Part of what they see is a subtle change in behavior.
Evan: Can you give us an example?
Robin: There is something that you probably haven’t ever experienced, but many women have, which is when a man comes over to your workstation, you’re sitting and he’s looking at something on your computer with you, but his crotch is in your face . . . unintentionally, unintentionally.
Evan: And men have a similar situation where a part of the woman’s anatomy is in their faces, which they don’t necessarily want to be looking at.
Robin: A great example. So quite a number of men who did the relevant part of our training have told me that it was a very powerful experience.
Evan: But it is really about being economically good for companies. Diversity of thought creates better products and better businesses. It attracts the right employees. I think the benefits are absolutely huge. And, you know, it’s interesting. Most people who are managers think that there are no issues of discrimination in their companies. There really are issues of course, but that’s not their reality. There are no issues in their minds.
Robin: We all have blind spots.
Evan: If you had one tip to share with our audience, what would that tip be?
Robin: Well, one tip would be to really treat colleagues and customers and business partners with respect.
About Our Guest
Robin Rosenberg, Ph.D., is CEO and Founder of Live in Their World, a company that uses, in part, virtual reality to address issues of bias and incivility in the workplace and upskill all employees, as well as leaders in particular, for respectful engagement. She is a clinical psychologist, and prior to starting her company, she had executive coaching and psychotherapy practices, wrote college textbooks, and taught psychology classes at Harvard University and Lesley University.
Robin has been interested in virtual reality (VR) for years, and was the lead author of a study to investigate using “VR for good.” She has combined her interest in immersive technologies with her coaching and clinical experiences to foster in employees a deeper understanding of how and why other people may feel slighted or marginalized, and how to approach such interactions differently.