Learning Leadership Skills through Online SIMS
Are you interested in improving your leadership skills? There are many options available, whether in person or online. While the traditional in-person methods have been around for years, simulation-based learning has gained momentum, especially after the pandemic closures. Simulation (SIMS) allow you to explore 'what if' questions and scenarios in preparation for day-to-day conflicts or large-scale problems. When it comes to leadership, it is arguably one of the most important traits in the workplace and professional environment. Yet, leadership is not often taught in schools, and most of us require many years of experience to gain a better grasp of this trait. The benefits of learning leadership skills are many and are well-known. However, what are the benefits of learning leadership online through simulated-based learning?
Although online learning introduces new challenges compared to face-to-face encounters, it also comes with a multitude of advantages. Many have reported that virtual communication has actually improved the quantity and quality of their relationships. The literature suggests that the absence of the visual component in virtual-based learning can create an equalizing effect as well as openness and comfort among participants that may be hindered during face-to-face learning. For example, visual cues such as face-to-face interactions tend to highlight features for discrimination, such as sex, race, attractiveness, and body size. The virtual environment, on the other hand, reduces or, in some instances, even eliminates such power imbalances and encourages inclusiveness.
According to the available research, online learning, and specifically leadership development programs, users prefer the readily and immediately available content that online SIMS provides versus in-person learning. A study completed by the Centre for Creative Leadership found that those who participated in online SIMS were just as satisfied as those who attended in-person learning. However, those who attended online SIMS also reported added benefits such as a willingness to relate personal stories and insights and the ability to push the conversation beyond the “comfort zone.” Additionally, 94% of users reported that the online program was easy to access, use and navigate. Another study found that there are specific and unique characteristics related to leadership that emerge with online gaming SIMS. The same study concluded that this type of virtual environment has the potential to develop leadership skills in higher education.
In addition, learning leadership via an online SIMS can be conducted in the comfort of your own home, office or remote working environment. There is also the added flexibility of timing, as online SIMS can be completed without the requirement of in-person or live structure. If you cannot leave your job, family, and/or other commitments, it is still possible to continue to grow and develop through online SIMS. Leadership SIMS can also be readily available in a multitude of languages to reach a wider audience, especially those whose first language is not English. Additionally, during the pandemic or if the situation arises where travel is not possible due to, for example, an expired passport or mobility issues, SIMS can deliver the content of leadership learning to you.