The Importance of Human Skills for Coping with Crises: An Interview with Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson and Brandon Hall

Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson recently joined Brandon Hall Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke and Principal Analyst David Wentworth for the leading research and analyst firm’s HCMx Radio series. In the episode “The Importance of Human Skills for Coping with Crises,” the wide-ranging discussion covered timely workplace issues related to the Covid-19 crisis, as well as new developments in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. 

“At work, our job is to create a fair and equitable environment. And when we interact with customers, our job is to make them feel honored regardless of their background or views about the world,” said Atkinson to help kick off the conversation.

Below are several of the topics covered during the podcast, as well as key takeaways from the discussion:

COVID-19’s impact on the workplace, diversity, and society:We’ve all learned from being in Zoom and Covid that the idea of we’re people first and professionals second is really critical to building successful enterprises.” – Atkinson

This collective moment of once-in-a-lifetime societal change: “There was always a real need for employers to give front-line workers and managers the opportunity to practice difficult conversations. But now, if you look back at what I think of as this perfect storm of developments that we have been through as a society in the last nine months … you create a whole lot of urgency from society for the workplace to change.“ – Atkinson

Connecting with intention, respect, and openness:“Showing our humanity is a huge part of being a leader, and we all need to practice.” – Atkinson

“No one’s perfect, but we’re trying and creating more opportunities to develop, to train, and to create these experiences that we may not be familiar with that will make us better people, better leaders, and better organizations.” – Cooke

The importance of safety, focus, connection, empathy, nonverbal communication, and discovery/insight:“We’ve asked our clients about what’s the most important leadership behavior that’s being demonstrated right now through this process, and the number one thing is kindness, patience, and genuine interest and curiosity about the well-being of others.” – Wentworth

Today’s rapidly transforming workplace: “People feel like they are able to better budget their own time when they are working remotely; whereas, if they’re sitting in an office, there might be a slight hesitation to ‘do I take this 10 minutes to interact with this.’ There’s more freedom.” – Wentworth

“It’s interesting how people are transitioning and managing their time to do more things that they can help themselves be more educated, informed, and skilled and figure out how they can apply that in their jobs and in their workplace.” – Cooke

Mursion’s “human-in-the-loop” simulations: “The beauty of Mursion is that it’s very powerful in short doses. You’re talking about 10 minutes in a simulator in a powerful, engaging practice session is a big wake-up call about how you’re coming across.” – Atkinson

Watch Atkinson, Cooke, and Wentworth’s conversation now to glean more insights about how virtual reality is an impactful solution for the challenges of today’s workplace, as well as learn what’s next for Mursion, including a potential upcoming episode of the HCMx podcast featuring a Mursion avatar.