Sensitivity Training for Managers

Sensitivity training is a training program that can help people to understand not only themselves but also others to a reasonable extent by developing their behavioral flexibility and social sensitivity. This training program involves the groups of trainees including groups of lab trainees, human awareness workers, encounter specialists, and managers, etc. In other words, sensitivity training enables an individual to know what other people are thinking and feeling about anything. In this write-up, we are going to discuss the procedure, aim, and benefits of sensitivity training for managers.

The procedure of Sensitivity Training

The procedure of sensitivity training is a three-step program, including:


Know shortcomings in the old values: In this step, the trainees know about the shortcomings of the old ethics and morals. When a trainee has to face a problem where he could not get proper guidance from the old values followed by him then he can know their shortfalls. In this first step, an informal group is formed with 10-15 people who will focus on trainer guidance without any particular objective. Though the trainer becomes the leader of the group he refuses to guide them. Then the trainees are encouraged to try to form a chain of command to resolve the certainty. In this situation, some of them will try to lead the group which other trainees may not like. Thus they will know about what they want to do and deal with the situation by finding alternative ways.

Development of new principles and standards: In the second step, the trainees start assessing their behavior with other people and feedback to each other with the help of their trainer. After analyzing and discussing the feedbacks the trainees will be encouraged to try out various types of new values and behaviors. So, in this step, the process of development of values is changed.

Start using new values: Depending upon the opportunity got by the trainees to use new values and behaviors at their place of work, this step can be taken.

Thus, the process of sensitivity training includes the development of the emotional ability of a person to enable him to understand the emotions of others and become sensitive enough to manage his impulses and emotions. In other words, employees can use their mental ability to act in an organization according to the situation he is facing. This training enables them to understand the mental status and feelings of others and behave accordingly. The lack of emotional ability in the employees can be the main cause of misunderstandings and conflicts which can result in disintegration in relationships and sensitivity within the organization and can affect its productivity.

What is emotional intelligence?

The ability to know and utilize your own emotions along with the emotions of others to do something is known as emotional intelligence. It can enable you to:

• Know what you feeling or awareness of your own emotions

• Manage your own emotions by recognizing them and converting negative emotions into positive

• Motivate your emotions by using your positive emotions under pressure

• Understand the feelings of others and use it for finding solutions successfully

• Take care of relationships by developing a collaborative and cooperative environment

Thus, the stress experienced by people can be avoided by becoming able to block and convert negative feelings at a given point in time.

The main aim of Sensitivity Training

There are a few common aims of sensitivity training even if the style and emphasis of various training programs are different. These common aims include:

• Increasing the insight, awareness, and understanding of your own behavior and assessing its effect on the behavior of others as well as how they understand their behavior

• Increasing sensitivity and understanding of others’ behavior along with a better understanding of both unspoken and spoken words which can increase the understanding and awareness of the feelings and think of other people

• Awareness and understanding of the processes used by inter-group and group process in a better way so that the functioning of the group can be improved as well as slowed down

• Increasing skills to diagnose the situation between groups and persons, which can be achieved by completing the three aims discussed above.

• Enabling the trainees to convert their knowledge into action so that they can increase the satisfaction, effectiveness, and output of the other members successfully by intervening in their real life

• Improving the ability of the individuals to learn the ways to help others who meet them and themselves as well as analyze their behavior so that they can develop more rewarding, effective and satisfying relationships between individuals

Some of these aims can be neglected or accepted by different programs of sensitivity training for managers still they are commonly accepted by many programs.

Benefits of sensitivity training

The probable benefits of sensitivity training for managers are discussed hereunder. Everyone participating in these programs may or may not experience them depending upon their ability to learn the variety of things taught in these programs. The possible benefits for the trainee, their role, and the organization are briefly discussed here under for your consideration.

For trainees

• Increase in the awareness of their feelings and behavior and its effect on others

• Increase in understanding the behavior and feelings of others and its effect on you

• Increase in understanding the forces that encourage a group to act

• Changing behavior, including tolerance, faith, and respect, for you, others as well as the groups

• Increasing ability to deal between people by handling the relationship between groups and people to make them more satisfying and productive

For the role of trainees

• Increase ability to understand your role and dynamics in an organization as well as dynamics of changing processes in individuals, organizations and small groups as well as large social systems

• Change in the behavior regarding your role as well as the role of others and relationship with the organization so that you can deal with others willingly and respectfully.

• Increase ability between people to handle their role in the organization, and relationships with their superiors, colleagues, and assistants.

For the organization

• Increase understanding for the interpersonal abilities and changed behavior for problems in the unite or groups in an organization

• Improvement in the organization by developing relationships between groups instead of individuals

Thus, sensitivity training for managers offers several benefits for the trainees as well as the organization.