What Is Sensitivity Training in the Workplace?

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Sensitivity training in the workplace is a program that helps employees and/or even employers understand how to respectfully interact with their co-workers. Respectful interactions are free of any derogatory name calling, gossiping, racism, sexism, harassment or any other type of bullying or hurtful actions.

Sensitivity training is a group meeting of all employees and employers who are required to attend. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the training is generally considered to be more effective when the group meets consistently over several days. There is usually a trained leader from a third party outside of the workplace who makes sure the group stays on track and the environment of the meeting stays safe and open. The group members are encouraged to openly discuss any issues or feelings they are experiencing. This is intended to let everyone know how everyone else feels and bring any previously unknown problems into the open to address.

Often times, sensitivity training is brought into the workplace after a specific event or confrontation between co-workers occurs. It is always good to get employees and employers involved in sensitivity training before any negativity becomes prominent in the workplace, but it is also an effective method of snuffing out insensitive behavior after it has already become an issue. It is always important to keep the training meetings calm and respectful because the person who is being hurtful or disrespectful is often not aware that his behavior is negatively affecting others.