SIMmersion PeopleSIM™

How are you going to help a new generation of sales professionals to succeed?

Dale Olsen’s latest book explores the practices that differentiate today’s top sales professionals. But acquiring knowledge of these breakthrough techniques is just the beginning. How are you going to quickly and effectively build the skills needed to consistently apply these practices? Click to determine whether your organization is ready to embrace this new sales model, and to take advantage of the transformative learning tools that deliver on its promise.


Does Your Training Help People Fail? We call it Failing Forward.

No one likes to fail, but everyone should. Research shows learners remember better and for far longer when they don’t immediately get the correct answer, in other words — when they fail first. “Failing” creates a stronger emotional response to the material causing more retention. Blueline has 4 guidelines to follow to help you design activities that provide the opportunity for your learners to fail forward and make each of your training session more successful. Click here to read the full blog: Does Your Training Help People Fail?


Sometimes Training Isn’t the Answer (Part 2)

You’ll recall that in my last post I shared the thought process that we go through when helping clients to determine the root cause of their challenge and therefore the most impactful solution. In this scenario, our pharmaceutical client needed to jumpstart the use of a new product planning process that they had recently updated and streamlined. They also wanted to reassure teams that leadership was committed to the use of the process and that they saw it as critical to the organization’s focus on impacting patient lives.

Rather than update the current training, together with the client we decided to develop two high impact communication pieces. The first, a telestration served as the ideal medium for communicating leadership’s commitment to the new product planning process, while simultaneously striking a powerful emotional chord by demonstrating the likely impact the new process would have on patient lives. As an added bonus, it provided a platform for introducing two new analysis elements that would be needed to complete the new process templates.

This unique approach enabled us to communicate all of this in a very engaging and visually stimulating way in just a few minutes – which drove high levels of viewership and, as a side benefit, meant it could serve as a refresher in planning discussions.

The second piece we developed was a powerful Blueline infographic that served to refresh the target audience on the overall process and then became a JIT ready reference job aide. This engaging, one-page visual graphically displayed key inputs, process steps and decisions-points.

Sample inforgraphic from Blueline

By sharing graphic elements between the telestration and the infographic we were able to drive adoption through consistent branding while keeping costs down. Want to learn more? Want to explore the power of a Blueline training and/or communications solution? Write to me or give us a call today.

Coaching Skills Faster Than Ever Thought Possible with Breakthrough Technology!

Prior to founding Blueline Simulations, I spent nearly 10 years at Development Dimensions International (DDI). For those of you who aren’t familiar with DDI’s history, its cofounders, Douglas Bray and Bill Byham, were pioneers in the field of industrial/organizational psychology. They brought the power of assessment centers to corporate America through ATT’s Management Progress Study.

Okay, a few of you knew that already. But did you know that they also transformed our profession when they pioneered behavior modeling with the introduction of Interaction Management in the mid 70s?

Behavior modeling, in this vernacular, is just as it sounds.  It’s the use of a positive model to demonstrate effective behavior followed by the opportunity to practice applying behaviors in their proper context. Over the last 40 years, DDI has helped to develop millions of leaders using the most advanced behavior modeling techniques conceived. And those techniques have been widely adopted and applied throughout our industry to develop a full range of interpersonal skills. But even with these advanced techniques, the success of behavior modeling has been limited by our ability as trainers to create opportunities for the learner to safely practice applying behaviors in their proper context.

Have you ever participated in a role-play or “skills practice,” whether pre-created or do-it-yourself, whether in bi-ads, tri-ads or quads? If so, then you know all too well the primary failure points: the role player and the coach. Let me see if I can recreate a familiar experience for you…

Imagine Stu, the role player who wouldn’t share anything with you no matter how much you reinforced his self-esteem, listened and responded empathetically, or asked for his help? Or, do you recall Sarah, the role player who spilled everything with you as soon as you opened the conversation? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! What about when Stu destroyed your self-esteem by explaining that you didn’t do anything right? Or when Sarah wasted your time by recounting that you couldn’t have done anything any better?

The big problem with role play is inconsistency. That’s because role plays are absolutely dependent on the role player. Success depends on the role player’s ability to do three very hard things extremely well: 1) play the role correctly, 2) deliver effective – and absolutely consistent – feedback, and 3) offer remediation to the learner. If you get a very savvy role player, you have an amazing experience. If you don’t, all that time spent in training was at best wasted, or at worst created confusion, fear, and who knows what else.

Simulation has long held the promise of being able to solve the “inconsistency dilemma” associated with role play. But candidly, very few interpersonal skills simulations feel real enough that the learner becomes fully immersed in the experience. It’s hard to create a human conversation with technology. And if the learner isn’t fully engaged retention suffers – in some studies, by as much as 60 percent.

Introducing SIMmersion PeopleSIM: Coaching and Performance Counseling.

The SIMmersion PeopleSIM is unique in that it blends cutting edge technology with sound instructional design to create opportunities for the learner to safely practice applying coaching behaviors in their proper context.  It provides detailed feedback and offers comprehensive remediation on the spot. And it busts through the “reality barrier” with its optional voice recognition module and a massive database of nodes (or possible responses). In fact, it offers so many different discussion threads (guided by the rules and probabilities entered into its proprietary gaming engine) that if 100 different people spoke with the simulated direct report on the screen, they could literally all have different experiences. Try it for yourself with this free demo.

Want to experience the future of interpersonal skills development? Give the talent management experts at Blueline a call today and test drive Simmersion PeopleSIM™.