Image Credit: resoundtraining.co.uk/resoundvirtual
We have been using our 3D virtual world for learning conversations, skills development and coaching and mentoring for some time. What we know from analysing our own work is that the Introductory session is vitally important. Learners and coachees entering the word for the first time can feel anxious about the environment.
As we all know, TRUST and RAPPORT are vital aspects of the coaching relationship. But how do you build rapport with a bunch of pixels?
Firstly, people new to the space, are keen to know (and rightly so) who can access the world, who can hear what they say and what happens to any text chats they have with us. As our virtual world is a closed space it means that you need a login to get in – and we provide that ourselves. The space has 4 breakout rooms (themed cafes overlooking the mediterranean sea) which are voice enabled and private. So discussions in those spaces cannot be heard unless you are in that space too.
The text chats are deleted once users log out but if coachees want a log of the chat we copy and paste the chat into a word document and share that with coachees – so the process is transparent.
This information helps to build trust. The other interesting facet to working in these spaces is the relationship learners and coachees have with their avatars. This is important as it links to identity and presentation of self. We encourage learners and coachees to make some changes to their avatar’s clothing, body shape, hair and skin tone so they make a connection to the bunch of pixels which is representing them in the virtual world.
Once this hurdle is navigated coachees demonstrate very high levels of trust in their coach, in the space, and in their relationship with their avatar.
If you are an experienced coach interested in working with 3D virtual spaces, do get in touch for an informal chat and an opportunity to experience this work for yourself.