6 Tips To Facilitate Critical Observation Skills In Online Training
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How To Facilitate Critical Observation Skills In Online Training

Critical observation is one of the most essential soft skills in the corporate sector. It gives employees the ability to see a problem before it’s even on the horizon, and to interpret research data in order to meet the evolving needs of your organization. While many companies may focus on communication and teamwork, critical observation should hold a prominent place in your online training strategy. Without it, all the trends, stats, and graphs in the world aren’t going to mean a thing, because there won’t be anyone to transform raw info into actionable goals. Here are 6 tips to help you cultivate this vital skill in your online training program.

1. Use Serious Games To Boost Their Observation Skills

Serious games are fun and entertaining, but they also help to hone your corporate learner's observation skills. This is particularly true if you opt for a mystery, puzzle, or hidden object theme that prompts them to focus on minute details. Even "find the difference" images, which involves two images that feature subtle variations, give them the opportunity to zero-in on the key takeaways. Serious games offer the added bonus of badges, levels, and bosses that motivate and engage your corporate learners in online training. A word of warning: make sure that you strike the right balance when it comes to the difficulty level. You don't want to frustrate corporate learners by making the puzzle too challenging. Likewise, they shouldn't be so bored that they become distracted or disengaged.

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2. Encourage Corporate Learners To Become Online Training Detectives

Corporate learners like to indulge their curiosity, even in online training environments. As such, inviting them to become online training detectives can promote their critical observation skills and pique their interest, which is extremely beneficial for distracted or overwhelmed corporate learners. Develop branching scenarios that put them in the role of private eye, then ask them to take notes on their observations and arrive at their own conclusions. Take it a step further by combining your subject matter with a traditional detective story or old-fashioned mystery; think Agatha Christie meets modern tech. Ask them to take notice of any clues, details, and learning behaviors that may be important to the plot. They have the power to analyze the information and draw their own assumptions based on the available data.

3. Create Character-Centric Online Training Simulations

One of the most practical applications for critical observation that your employees will be using in the workplace is interacting with customers. Your sales team must be able to read body language and non-verbal nuances that can make or break the sale. Customer service associates have to pick up on clues about a customers' mood to defuse the situation or increase customer satisfaction. Even your Human Resources department needs critical observation skills when they are vetting new hires or resolving conflicts. Character-driven online training simulations allow them to learn the ins and outs of body language and expose themselves to a wide range of personality types. They can gain experience with different emotions, forms of communication, and mood indicators in a safe online training environment.

4. Focus On Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial sub-skill of critical observation. Listening to co-workers, supervisors, and customers gives employees the power to effectively communicate and empathize with others. Divide your corporate learners into small groups. If you're working with a remote staff, use project management online platforms and video conferencing tools to bridge the distance. Give them a problem that they must solve collaboratively, and encourage them to share their feedback and experiences with the others. They will build their active listening skills without even being aware of it. Let them in on the secret after the fact and invite them to discuss the process. Have each employee focus on how well they listened, who was particularly adept at communicating, and what they might do differently to improve their active listening skills in the future.

5. Give Employees Time To Reflect

Employees who are skilled at critical observation also know how to use the talent for self-growth. They tend to be more self-aware and self-confident, due to the fact that they have the ability to identify their strengths and weaknesses more effectively. Give your employees time to reflect after each online training module or activity so that they can absorb the information and analyze their learning behaviors, assumptions, and habits. Provide them with a questionnaire or self-assessment that they can use to monitor their progress and pinpoint performance gaps that require their attention.

6. Incorporate Real World Examples And Case Studies

Individuals who are critically observant can see the world with total clarity and are not afraid to question the status quo. In fact, they have an innate curiosity that keeps them searching for the answers and looking for new ways to approach a problem. This is why it's essential to incorporate real world case studies, stories, and examples that tie into the subject matter. Employees must be able to see examples of critical observation in action, such as identifying trends from a news article or learning about a topic by examining a chart. These online training activities allow them to observe real world behaviors and ideas in a practical way, so that they can apply the same strategies in the workplace.

Critical observation skills allow your employees to formulate new strategies and solutions to organizational challenges. Data becomes a powerful tool that translates into increased profits, improved customer satisfaction, and a streamlined online training program that produces measurable results. Use these 6 tips to facilitate critical observation skills in your corporate learners and help them develop all of the abilities and secondary skills that come with them.

Speaking of skills, you need to identify the skill gaps before you can fill them. Read the article 6 Tips To Conduct A Successful Skills Assessment For Your Corporate Audience which features top tips for conducting a successful skills assessment in your organization to identify the skill gaps of your employees.

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