Goals of Sensitivity Training

While the emphases, styles and specific goals of the multitude of sensitivity training programs vary, there does seem to be some consensus as to general goals. These include:

1. Increased understanding, insight, and self awareness about one’s own behavior and its impact on others, including the ways in which others interpret one’s behavior.

2. Increased understanding and sensitivity about the behavior of others, including better interpretation of both verbal and nonverbal clues, which increases awareness and understanding of what the other person is thinking and feeling.

3. Better understanding and awareness of group and intergroup processes, both those that facilitate and those that inhibit group functioning.

4. Increased diagnostic skills in interpersonal and intergroup situations. For the authors, the accomplishments of the first three objectives provide the basic tools for accomplishing the fourth objective.

5. Increased ability to transform learning into action, so that real life interventions will be more successful in increasing member effectiveness, satisfaction, output, or effectiveness.

6. Improvement in individuals’ ability to analyze their own interpersonal behavior, as well as to learn how to help themselves and others with whom they come in contact to achieve more satisfying, rewarding, and effective interpersonal relationships.

Different sensitivity programs may emphasize one or more of these goals or may neglect some. However, they are goals that are common to most T groups.

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