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An AI-Driven Simulation with a Virtual Role-Player Helps Supervisors Develop Performance Coaching Skills at a Lower Cost

Supervisor Training with Role-Player Brooke Lerner

Figure 1 Supervisor Training with Role-Player Brooke Lerner

Opening Screen of Training Materials

Figure 2 Opening Screen of Training Materials

Figure 3  Brooke's Six Faces Representing Her Various Personalities

Figure 3 Brooke's Six Faces Representing Her Various Personalities

Supervisors are learning performance coaching skills by practicing with an AI-driven role-player. Automated feedback accelerates learning and reduces cost.

Job coaching is a skill that needs to be developed by practicing while getting feedback. Now an effective practice tool is available.”
— Dale Olsen, Ph.D.

COLUMBIA, MD, UNITED STATES, September 13, 2022 / -- Introduction

Some supervisors can be uncomfortable talking with an employee about performance issues. Poorly conducted performance discussions can potentially affect employee morale, corporate culture, or even result in unnecessary resignations. Effective performance coaching should make employees feel supported and help them grow to move their career forward.

Advances in technology now make effective job coaching training systems readily available online, at a low cost. These modern training systems build lasting skills while requiring less of the learner’s time. Traditionally, after managers sit through a lecture and even practice in a role-play, old habits quickly return when they are back on site having real performance discussions. Today, online training systems offer an effective alternative to traditional classroom, or even one-on-one, training by providing scalable, realistic, and unique skill-building practice opportunities with a virtual role-player.

Traditional vs. Virtual Role-Player Training Models

Training Performance Coaching Using a Traditional Model:
Learning effective coaching methods requires supervisors to schedule time for either classroom or one-on-one training. Frequently, these in-person trainings occur during traditional work hours. This time away from work can conflict with other important duties. To aid in skill development, trainees may spend some time practicing role-plays, but the time available is often constrained by the class schedule. Additionally, feedback by the trainer or others can make learners defensive, and the realism and variety of the role-plays is limited based on the available personnel. The cost of hiring an in-person trainer coupled with the potential reduction in productivity makes this method of training expensive. However, the relationship between effective performance discussions and organizational success often justifies the cost of this training.

Training Job Coaching Using AI-Driven Virtual Role-Players:
Modern training with SIMmersion’s virtual role-player has many advantages over the traditional methods, including:
• High effectiveness
• Reduced costs
• 24/7 availability
• Unlimited practice opportunities that can be used until the skills are perfected
• Anonymous feedback that does not make the learner defensive
• A wide variety of situational experiences

A Closer Look at SIMmersion’s Coaching for Improved Performance

SIMmersion’s performance coaching training system includes all the necessary elements needed for supervisors to learn how to effectively support employees experiencing performance issues. These elements include:
• Training Materials with information on best practices for effective communications and employee performance coaching. This guide is based on universal coaching principles.
• Coaching Conversations with a virtual role-player who has emotions and whose personality changes with each practice conversation, prepares managers to coach their team members.
• Comprehensive Feedback during and after each conversation that facilitates skill development.

The Coaching Scenario:
The system was designed to address common coaching needs with the key element being the practice with role-player Brooke Lerner. Brooke has been routinely missing deadlines and inappropriately dominates meetings. Telling her about these issues will not be well received unless it is done properly. Each coaching session will be different, so that managers can get new experiences applying coaching principles, while practicing the ideas provided in the Training Materials.

Virtual Role-Player Technology:
Brooke will respond to the user’s statements unpredictably but in a way that is consistent with who she is portraying. This is accomplished in several ways, one being her six different randomly selected personality variations.
1. Argumentative alpha
2. Passive aggressive victim
3. Melodramatically angry
4. Apathetic underachiever
5. Sensitive to win favor
6. Blaming incompetent

For this application, each user statement typically has 5 to 12 responses that Brooke can use. To choose the response she will provide, the system calculates probabilities for each possible response and uses them to make her choice. The calculations are based on one of her six different randomly selected personalities and the relationship the user has developed with her during the conversation. Then these probabilities are used to make a random response selection. Everything the user says is rated according to the impact it has on the relationship, thus as the user talks more with her, the relationship will evolve.

Remarks & Conclusion

Studies have shown that traditional classroom soft-skill training does not change long-term behavior. However, a series of research studies have demonstrated that SIMmersion’s role-play training builds sustained skills. SIMmersion’s Coaching for Improved Performance system is now available. To get a free trial and learn more visit Click here to download a free PowerPoint that can be used for training.

About SIMmersion

SIMmersion’s mission is to train communication skills faster and more effectively by combining the world’s most realistic simulation experiences with interactive training content and extensive feedback. For more information contact SIMmersion by calling 443 283 2555 or online at

Dale Edward Olsen
+1 443-745-5754
email us here

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