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The Benefits of Sensitivity Training


When we think of the benefits of sensitivity training, we think of employees’ ability to identify biases that if not responded to appropriately, can hinder the productivity of the business and/or effectively work with people of different backgrounds. 

Raising Awareness

Raising awareness is the first step to promoting change. With the media, one’s limited experience with individuals of different backgrounds, or what they have heard from others, it is easy to fall into the mindset that one knows everything there is to know about people of a different religion, race, age, etc. More often than not, this is simply untrue.

Training is a helpful tool in dispelling myths and receiving accurate information about cultural differences and diversity.


One of the most effective ways to learn about someone different from one’s self, is to actually interact with him/her. Not only do you learn about that person as an individual, but you can also learn about their culture, race, and so on. Understanding how one thinks and factors such as religion that affects the way they think, will open your mind to new perspectives and help you communicate with them at their level. This will include, verbal, non-verbal, and visual communication.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how your communication skills can improve.

 Example 1: In Nigeria, subordinates typically do not make direct eye contact when verbally communicating with their boss, as a sign of respect. In the United States, if you do not make eye contact with your boss, you may be suspected of hiding something. Keeping this in mind can help prevent you from misinterpreting one’s intentions.

Example 2: While physical touch such as patting someone on the shoulder may be seen as a harmless way of telling someone, “Job well done!” it can be viewed as harassment, as you were not invited to touch the person.

Behavioral Changes

Another benefit to sensitivity training and all it includes is better relationship management.  Once we understand the expectations of people from different groups, we can then use that to build and maintain better, more positive relationships, both in the workplace and in everyday life.

How does sensitivity training aid in our relationships?  First, through our interaction.  Through our contact and learning about others, we are more likely to change how we think about others and behave in their presence.  Communicating more positively improves our relationships with everyone we encounter.  Better communication equals better relationships.

 Productive Workplace

While developing positive relationships with co-workers is an essential benefit of sensitivity training, the overall goal is to ensure a workplace that is productive. Many don’t realize how not being able to communicate with co-workers successfully has a direct impact on how work gets done. This can affect quality as well as productivity.

Here are some examples of how a diverse workplace affects productivity.

  • Various perspectives equal various solutions to solve issues
  • Greater employee morale
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Working with customers on a global scale
  • Less employee turnover
  • More innovation


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Copyright © 2015 by Global Courseware, Inc.

Used under licensing permission