‘Escaping the room’: understanding our emotions in pressure situations
This month, the Indigo team headed to Romford in Essex to meet the team at Fuzzy Brick, a company specialising in immersive virtual reality experiences.
Our aim was to explore how the Your Virtual Mind Trainer (YVMT) service could be used in conjunction with other virtual reality (VR) solutions to equip teams and leaders to quickly identify and improve upon aspects such as psychological safety, emotional intelligence and compassionate leadership.
Using VR takes us out of the classroom and into a world where we can experience powerful emotions and stressful situations in a safe environment, giving us the opportunity to practice techniques to stay calm and capable when under pressure.
The Fuzzy Brick office had been set up for an ‘escape room experience’ for two groups to interact together and do their best to perform duties and communicate while under pressure of time – all in VR. We used Oculus Quest headsets with hand controls to allow us to pick things up and move them to complete tasks, making it a really immersive experience.
During the session, my Indigo colleague Susie Mathieson teamed up with Mark Upward, director at Fuzzy Brick, while I paired with Brad Wilkie, VR alchemist at Fuzzy Brick.
Afterwards, we all discussed our own experiences of the situation; it was so interesting to see how it had impacted us all in such different ways. Susie and I are quite different personalities, and our feelings - both positive and negative – were very different.
It was such a useful exercise to consider how such an experience could help people understand how they manage things and where/how they feel emotions when they're under pressure. So, after talking a bit about the psychological aspects, we went back in again armed with that awareness, and had another go before ruminating once more.
The Fuzzy Brick team are absolutely brilliant at what they do, and the escape room experience is simply fantastic. But the most exciting thing about our visit to Essex was that we all shared a passion for understanding the emotions participants feel and how the brain works in these situations.
Our aim is now to collaborate again to create a blueprint of a workshop that we can trial and evaluate with Indigo and YVMT customers in the first half of 2022.