1 Personal skills and behaviours
Most organisations will have some kind of diversity and inclusion agenda, but how you choose to engage with it, and where you can best lend your expertise, will depend on the skills and behaviours you have developed throughout your career. It’s never too late to develop new skills or hone the ones you have, and this section aims to highlight some of the skills and behaviours that will be particularly useful in this context.
A very relevant starting point is the skill of self-reflection.
Several of the activities you’ve already undertaken during this course have been self-reflective, and in the context of diversity and inclusion, this is a vital part of your personal journey.
Whether you are reflecting on your own unconscious biases or privileges, or thinking back to a conversation you had with someone or a meeting you organised, and considering what actions you might take next time to be more inclusive, this is an important step towards change and improvement.
The following activity encourages you to be reflective, focusing on your own development needs to support this agenda.
Activity 1 What skills do you need to support this agenda?
Spend a few minutes thinking about your own strengths and weakness and see if you can identify any areas for further development that will help you with your own approach to diversity and inclusion.
In the tables below, you will find a list of skills and attributes that are regularly quoted as relevant to the diversity and inclusion agenda. If you can think of any more from your own experience, add them to the empty boxes in the table.
Score your level of expertise against each skill and ability as follows:
- 0 = no experience yet
- 1 = basic
- 2 = competent
- 3 = proficient
Add at least one example of when you’ve demonstrated that skill in practice. Your example doesn’t need to have a diversity and inclusion context – in this activity you’re looking at proficiency in the skill itself, which you will have the capability to use in a range of situations.
When you’ve completed the task, ask a colleague, manager, mentor or friend who knows you well whether they agree with your assessment. Note down their comments.
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Other useful skills and attributes in this context include: cultural awareness, courage, openness, active listening, conflict resolution and continuous learning.
Even when we already have a skill, it is always possible to develop it further, and this week you’ll focus on some of the key skills required to support this agenda effectively.
You’ll be able to convert your areas for improvement into an action plan in Week 8.
Self-reflection plays a key role in developing your emotional intelligence, and you’ll look at this in more detail in the next section.