General Question

mee_ouch's avatar

Does mandatory sensitivity training in the workplace have it's merits?

Asked by mee_ouch (656points) August 15th, 2008

Or is it merely a way to avoid discrimination lawsuits?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

it’s to avoid the law suits. Either you’re a decent human being or you’re not. Being forced to sit in a classroom all day against your will ain’t gonna change that.

mee_ouch's avatar


syz's avatar

It’s not really to get people to act differently. It’s so that someone who continues to act improperly even after training cannot claim ignorance. If they know better and they do it anyway, they can be fired.

mee_ouch's avatar

Where does one draw the line though, between PC and freedom of speech?

tonedef's avatar

I’m saying this as a member of several minority populations, but I too am unsure of the efficacy of these types of programs. It reminds me of court-ordered treatment, or anger management therapy. If you just sit in a room and listen to someone, the chance of a behavior overhaul is minimal, is prejudices already exist.

If someone is completely naive about sensitive interactions between groups, though, I think they could get a lot out of it. Things like not using a group’s adjective as a noun (“Look at them gays”) are easy to pick up, and an easy way to recognize individual identity.

tonedef's avatar

@mee_ouch I totally respect individual’s rights to be as ignorant and thoughtless as they want to be. This question specifically deals with employment environments, and unless you’re a sailor, the n- and f-words probably will not fly around the boss.

mee_ouch's avatar

tonedef…..very astute…..Your answer is a blatant reminder for everybody to wake the f*ck up to the rights of others….regardless of gender, race, ability…...You’ve approached it with grace and finesse. Nicely done.

wundayatta's avatar

I was told that if someone asks you to stop any type of speech or any type of behavior, you have to do it. It doesn’t matter how unreasonable it might. I asked the lawyer who was giving the presentation. She said so.

I have no problem with sensitivity training. I have a big problem with the people who run sensitivity training. No matter how educated they are, from what I’ve heard, they are humorless dweebs with no idea about what the real world is like.

mee_ouch's avatar

Daloon…..If ever you get the chance and/or if you care to, watch Penn and Teller’s latest episode on HBO…It smacks of robotic dweebs cum professional ‘people-pleasers’.

tedibear's avatar

I went through diversity training at my old bank and it was okay. Unfortunately, it’s nigh on impossible to get people who are jerks to stop being jerks. Sometimes a major event will change them – such as being the recipient of the jerky behavior – but not always.

As an example, my dad had a lovely nurse’s aide when he was in the hospital who would sing to him as she completed various tasks. (She had a beautiful voice.) He liked her and spoke highly of her, but persisted in calling her “colored.” I would cringe when he said it, but he didn’t understand why it was poor behavior. This was the word he was used to using and didn’t mean it as an insult. I never could get him past that term…sigh.

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