Robin Rosenberg: Cultivating Culture and Civility through Virtual Reality and Cognitive Learning
About Robin S. Rosenberg: She is the CEO and Founder of Live in Their World. Robin is a clinical psychologist and author. She has had both psychotherapy and executive coaching practices in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. She is board certified in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She has taught psychology classes at Harvard University and Lesley University.
Robin has been interested in virtual reality (VR) for years, and was the lead author of a study to investigate using “VR for good.” She has combined her interest in immersive technologies with her coaching and clinical experiences to foster in employees a deeper understanding of how and why other people may feel slighted or marginalized, and how to approach such interactions differently. Robin is the author of both college-level psychology textbooks, and books for a general audience about the psychological underpinnings of (other people’s) fictional characters, such as Harry Potter, Batman, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
After decades with successful psychotherapy and coaching practices, she founded Live in Their World, which enables lasting change in organizational civility and respectful engagement. The program applies the science of psychology to combine emotional and cognitive learning, using both immersive virtual reality and online learning. Robin also started a “Dear Robin” column, addressing people’s questions about civility and respect in the workplace.
In this episode, Dean Newlund and Robin Rosenberg discuss:
- Deeper empathy and understanding through virtual reality
- Encouraging transformation in people in the workplace
- Upskilling people in three perspectives
- Identifying and harnessing biases
- Virtual reality is a beautiful way to not only be in the shoes of someone, but be in their feet – see the world through someone’s perspective.
- You need specific guidelines, team accountability, and consistency to align everyone in the same direction towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. You can’t just throw around an abstract idea and expect people to change.
- Virtual reality is a very effective tool, when used correctly and when it works well, for bringing back engagement and connection between co-workers without risking anybody’s health – except for people who might be motion sick.
- Change people in three perspectives: as a target, bystander, or instigator. If you’re a target, how should you respond to disrespectful behavior? If you’re a bystander, how should you intervene? If you’re the instigator, how are you affecting people both negatively, unintentionally and intentionally?
- Biases are tools, cognitive shortcuts. We cannot live in a world without biases. We would be paralyzed if we had to view every individual stimulus that comes our way and think deeply about it before we evaluate it. The issue about bias is when it influences behavior. The main reason to have unconscious bias training is for people to be aware what their biases are so they can understand how they may play out and address that.
“We’re born with the mechanism of biases but we’re not born with the content of the biases.” — Robin Rosenberg
See Dean’s TedTalk “Why Business Needs Intuition” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEq9IYvgV7I
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