1.4 Continuous learning
While you might not immediately think of this as a skill, your openness and commitment to continuous learning is a vital aspect of diversity and inclusion. For example, your willingness to learn about different world views, perspectives and lived experiences, will enhance your diversity and inclusion knowledge and practice. Also, as this is an ever evolving topic, continuous learning is a necessary approach.
Watch this short video in which Asif Sadiq explains the importance of continuous learning and the concept of conscious inclusion.
Transcript: Video 7: Continuous learning
Valamis (2022) describes continuous learning as follows:
Continuous learning is the process of learning new skills and knowledge on an on-going basis. This can come in many forms, from formal course taking to casual social learning. It involves self-initiative and taking on challenges. Continuous learning can also be within an organisation, or it can be personal, such as in lifelong learning.
You can see from this description that personal characteristics, such as initiative and willingness to take on a challenge, are going to be important. Reflection also plays a key role in consolidating your learning.
Walsh (2018) emphasizes the importance of motivation, and you’ll explore that in more detail in the next activity.
Activity 4 What is your motivation?
Spend a few minutes thinking about your motivation for supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda in your workplace. Make notes in the box below.
Walsh (2018) describes a number of potential motivations for continuous learning, do any of these align with your thoughts?
- Inspiration – you’re trying to solve a problem and you need something to inspire you
- Frustration – you’re unhappy with the status quo and you want to find a way to change it
- Self-improvement – you have an inbuilt desire to do better
- Ambition – to drive your career forward
- Status – to feel valued and contributing
- Embarrassment – you may be exposed in front of colleagues or clients
- Fear – of missing out on something important.
Now that you’ve considered some of the personal tools (i.e. skills and behaviours) that you can develop to support your work on this agenda, the next section will focus on some of the professional tools you could use.