Leadership Development: How can Virtual Reality help?

Gone are the days of using Virtual Reality (VR) solely for gaming and other leisure activities. In fact, we know that VR is now an engaging and impactful way to deliver learning solutions that really pack a punch! 

In recent years, I’ve seen it used as a powerful and impactful tool for senior leader development. By using VR as a stimulus, leaders can engage in immersive simulations to encourage them to act authentically (as they would in a ‘real’ situation).  

There are many use cases for using VR for learning and for senior leader development as the technology enables us to create situations that would be difficult or impossible to simulate in the real world. For example, a leader could use VR to practice giving a presentation to a hostile audience or to simulate a crisis scenario in which they need to make tough decisions under pressure. 

Importantly, VR offers a safe space for leaders to practice and experiment. In the real world, the consequences of poor decision-making can be severe. But in a VR simulation, leaders can explore different approaches and learn from their mistakes without putting anyone or anything at risk. This can help build confidence and resilience, as well as foster a culture of innovation and experimentation within an organisation. 

I’ve had the experience of working with a number of leaders from different industries where VR was a part of their leadership programme journey and typically it is the experience they remember and talk to their colleagues about because of the intensity and impact. 

At Cappfinity, we have used VR to help senior leaders gain deep insights about themselves and develop their self-awareness. We consider self-awareness to be one of the meta-skills of the 21st century and that by developing your self-awareness, you can open the doors to developing further skills that are essential to your role.

We know that through Tasha Eurich’s research, although 95% of us think we are self-aware, only 15% are truly self-aware.  

We truly believe in the power of VR for development although we realise that VR is not a silver bullet for leadership development. That is why we typically blend our experiences with VR, and VR serves as a stimulus. For our senior leaders, we combine the VR experience with coaching, a Strengths Profile, and a 360. Through this experience, we have enabled leaders to reach deeper insights about themselves than they would have achieved through a 1:1 coaching session and through the intensity of the experience, achieve breakthroughs quicker than they typically would through a series of coaching sessions. 

Ultimately, the adoption of VR for senior leader development is a sign of the ongoing evolution of leadership development practices. As organisations look for new and innovative ways to develop their leaders, VR is sure to play an increasingly important role. By offering immersive, engaging, and risk-free training experiences, VR has the potential to transform the way we think about leadership development and to help us build the leaders of the future. 

Feedback from VR participants.

Get in touch if you want to find out more about Virtual Reality and how your leaders can benefit from this experience!