Why Sensitivity Training is a part of MBA program at RSB Chennai
Cordial interpersonal relationships among employees or the lack of it is one of the biggest challenges faced by today’s organizations. Compassion and empathy toward team members and associates have been found to build trust, increase individuals’ acceptance of any decisions and employee engagement.
“While electronic & social media enables people to communicate across geographic, ethnic, gender and socio-cultural differences, seamlessly, it often cuts down on the physical interpersonal connect. A feeling of disconnect can have an adverse effect on one’s overall sense of well-being and productivity. Hence this training program has been included in the pedagogy to sensitize the students on ‘Knowing-Doing-Being’ part, which shall not just help them in their professional lives but also in the classroom knowledge sharing while they are pursuing the management program” said Prof. Gautam Ghosh, Director at RSB.
What is Sensitivity Training?
It is normal to have feelings and emotions. There are even people who tend to take things too personally; they find it difficult, when triggered by relatively small unpleasantness with people, to just “let it go”. Sensitivity training is the process of developing emotional intelligence, enabling one to be responsive to the surrounding sentiments while being able to manage their own emotions and impulses.
Why Sensitivity Training?
Empirical study suggests that sensitivity trainings leads to a positive change in the cordial working relation between employees which further leads to better productivity and fulfillment of organizational goals. Emotional Intelligence hence, is looked upon as a ‘necessary’ soft skill rather than ‘good to have’ skill set, by recruiters.
According to Dr. Tanusree Chakraborty, faculty in the area of Organizational Behavior and HRM, at RSB, the underlying idea behind sensitivity training is developing respect for each person as an equal human being. Just as we have wants and needs, so do the others around us. And just as we want people to show respect to our feelings and ways of living, so too must we show respect to others.
Emotional ups and downs should not hurt others we deal with in professional or personal lives as these intense feelings can be difficult to cope up with. They can affect different people in different ways.
“To equip students with better handling to others feelings and emotions, RSB undertakes hands on sensitivity training sessions in the organizational development curriculum, which gives the students an edge when they leave the campus”, said Prof. Tanusree.
How is it imparted?
The training is based on participative methods in semi structured or an unstructured informal atmosphere to enable open sharing of experiences, feedbacks and self-reflections, guided by the facilitator. There are no lectures and the students themselves are the subjects.
It involves sharing of his or her own exclusive sensitivities by each member of the group, present. This, in turn, reveals information or data points on individual’s concerns, emotional issues, qualities and things that he or she has in common with other members of the group.
The session covers workplace scenarios too, where this awareness is put to practice to make one’s and other’s work experiences pleasant.
What is the Outcome?
It teaches one to deal with conflicts or to be able to identify a conflict like situation, sensibly, fairly and efficiently. The art of conflict management can be the key to professional growth. How an employee responds and resolves conflict will limit or enable that employee's success.
Sensitivity cannot be learned as a topic in HR book, one has to undergo the processes. In tense situations, people actually focus on what they are going to say rather than what others are saying. This ‘T lab’ training helps them understand the other side and respond accordingly. Students experiencing tension or anxiety often feel much relieved after the session.
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