8 Real World Activities That Build Interpersonal Skills In Online Training

How To Build Interpersonal Skills In Online Training: 8 Real World Activities To Use

Real world experience is a valuable teacher. Especially when it comes to talents that are difficult to master, such as interpersonal skills that cover everything from social etiquette to active listening. But how do you facilitate real world experience if your workforce is geographically dispersed and face-to-face interaction isn't an option? The solution is real world online training activities that foster interpersonal skills and promote online group collaboration.

1. Interactive Online Training Simulations

Interactive online trianing simulations immerse employees in real world situations where they interact with realistic characters and tools to achieve the desired outcome. In order to facilitate interpersonal skills, the corporate learner should have the opportunity to interact with different personas. For instance, customers who are unhappy with their purchase or fellow co-workers who need help resolving a problem. This allows them to build a broad range of sub-skills, from communication and negotiation to active listening and conflict resolution skills.

2. Branching Scenarios

Branching scenarios feature different decision paths that employees must choose from. Each path leads to a unique set of challenges or situations they have to navigate. To do so, they'll need to use all of the skills and resources at their disposal. This includes a whole host of interpersonal skills. For example, the branching scenario involves a workplace meeting wherein two co-workers are in disagreement. The employee must evaluate the situation to see things from both viewpoints, then use their communication and conflict resolution skills to appease both parties.

3. Case Studies

Case studies demonstrate how certain skills or lack thereof apply in the real world. For example, the ability to communicate well with others and actively listen to their concerns leads to more effective team building. It also allows employees to provide better customer service and support their co-workers whenever they're in need. Case studies usually contain important facts, stats, or tips to help employees translate theory into practice, as well as emphasize the benefits of completing their interpersonal skills online training.

4. Online Group Collaboration Projects

Even if your employees are geographically dispersed, they can still participate in online group collaboration projects that build interpersonal skills. The secret is finding online tools that facilitate communication and online collaboration. For example, Project Management online platforms, video conferencing tools, and online discussions. Closed social media groups are another great way to exchange feedback and ideas. Give each group an online assignment, such as producing an online presentation based on the topic. Then encourage them to work together to improve the team dynamic.

5. Webinars With A Special Guest Host

There are two approaches to hosting a webinar that boosts interpersonal skills: The first is to host it yourself and invite employees to ask questions and share knowledge. The second is to encourage them to guest host a live event themselves. They must create an outline, prepare visuals, and interact with their peers. Both strategies help employees build communication, teamwork, leadership, and active listening skills, which all fall into the category of interpersonal skills.

6. Problem-Solving Mysteries

This puts a creative spin on traditional real world activities. Employees are charged with solving a mystery that contains realistic elements, such as historical points or characters. You can frame the mystery in a scenario, online group collaboration project, online training simulation, or serious game. Employees must put on their thinking caps and use their interpersonal and problem-solving skills to deduce the solution. For example, interviewing potential suspects in order to read their body language and facial expressions.

7. Serious Games

Serious games are fun and entertaining. They also teach employees valuable lessons about interacting with peers, non-verbal communication, and active listening. Especially if the serious game features memorable online training characters and relatable situations. Employees have to successfully complete each level before moving onto the next, each level focusing on a different sub-skill. For instance, the first covers a problem-solving task, while the next delves into persuasion and influencing skills. In addition to serious games, you can also gamify your entire online training course to reward employees who build their skills successfully. For example, award badges or points to those who complete the online training simulation and achieve a favorable outcome.

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8. Emotionally-Stirring Stories

Emotionally-compelling stories illustrate the importance of interpersonal skills in the real world. For example, the main character is hurt by the words or actions of their co-worker. Thus, employees are able to see how their interactions with peers lead to negative or positive consequences. They also have the ability to enhance their emotional intelligence and become more empathetic. Last, but not least, they have the power to see things from a unique perspective by stepping inside the shoes of the character.

Top Tip For Facilitating Interpersonal Skills In Online Training

Conduct audience research to determine which real world activities suit your employees' personal learning preferences and needs. You can also identify skill gaps in order to create customized online training resources. For example, surveys or online training assessments reveal that your employees need a little help with effective communication and persuasion skills. As such, you can develop online training simulations that feature customer personas so that they can hone these crucial abilities. It's also a good idea to gather feedback from your employees to continually adapt your online training strategy. For instance, new job duties or roles may require different skill sets. Thus, they need real world activities that involve more advanced or diverse interpersonal skills.

Real world activities give employees the chance to apply their interpersonal skills and build practical experience. They can also learn from their mistakes, which reduces their on-the-job learning curve. Use these 8 real world activities to build communication, active listening, teamwork, and other essential interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills are just some of the soft skills that your employees should acquire to tackle everyday work challenges. Read the article 8 Essential Soft Skills Your Online Learners Need For 2017 to discover more soft skills your corporate learners need so as to get the most from your online training course and their day-to-day lives.

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