Does your organization roll out Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility training? If so, are you still left with questions or problems that you don’t know how to address? Self-directed learning in the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) space is a powerful tool to help individuals equip themselves on how to address problems and create more inclusive environments in the workplace. Here at CCDI Consulting, we have an ever-growing group of individual professionals seeking to advance their IDEA knowledge and skill set. We have a diverse group of professionals from many industries all experiencing similar knowledge gaps or workplace issues hoping to find solutions through self-directed learning. I manage these learning opportunities and often get to connect with many of our participants directly. For example, this year I received a call from a team lead at a large corporation. They were thinking about taking a manager position in their company but were hesitant because as they explained, there were tensions amongst the teams due to misunderstandings, assumptions and oversites. This person wanted to impact the team positively and understand how to address these issues properly, and although their organization offered IDEA learning they saw these issues as part of a bigger issue of cultural competence and unconscious bias that needed more work than a session once a year. We talked it through what their organization needed, what they were hoping for and how to position themselves to manage people successfully. We tailored their registration of our DEI Individual programs best address their learning needs. Since our training they have felt better prepared to navigate their diverse team’s needs in their new role and have even champion more IDEA learning opportunities within the organization.
With the ever-changing work environment, learning needs to become more and more embedded in your workflow or have the flexibility to adjust to your workload. Ensuring IDEA focused learning is incorporated into all forms of learning, including self-directed learning is vital in implementing IDEA values and strategies in business development.
Self-directed learning is a strategy that allows the learners to take charge of their own learning process. The key to a successful self-directed learning experience is initiative. It requires your commitment and critical self-analysis to diagnose issues, identify goals, select strategies and evaluate themselves in the learning process. This strategy is vital for on the job learning for organizations and those navigating the workplace.
There are many benefits to this style of learning. We are inundated with information today; self-directed learning can help cut out the noise. You can curate the most updated and relevant learning content that fits your needs and interests. Self-directed learning provides more concentrated materials which makes it easier to find practical tools and strategies to address workplace issues today rather than cutting through the many theories and outdated references to attempt to create your own solutions with little support.
Here are a few tips to start your journey off to bring value to your organization and take charge of your self-directed learning:.
- Find relevant topics that you are interested in or invested in.
- Ensure you know what the problem is before trying to solve it.
- Make your tasks and goals small or find external structures to support you.
- Establish date markers to keep yourself accountable.
- Find friends with similar goals to brainstorm with and stay accountable to.
- Remember the importance of IDEA learning in your workplace and life.
Individual learning is essential to IDEA development in organizations, it is an incredible value add that is often underutilized. Between busy workloads, adapting to an ever-changing market and other learning obligations, it is hard for organizations to create adaptable IDEA learning to address all employees' needs and issues. And very few organizations understand the value of IDEA learning to their business goals. This is why individual IDEA learning is essential to create champions within organizations to help drive IDEA embedment in business development.
Fundamentally, personal learning also feeds into allyship. Through knowledge, we can identify our own biases, learn to utilize our privilege and learn inclusive strategies. Ultimately through self-education, you can reduce the burden of the marginalized to educate those around them on their own knowledge gaps. Ensure your journey into Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility disilludes the misinformation out there on minority groups, their issues and what true equity is. Use your platform, privilege and access to this space to inform yourself and those around you.
It is important to note this learning strategy cannot stand alone, it is a complementary pairing to many traditional work learning strategies as there are still benefits to more collaborative methods and consistent messaging within organizational learning. You can be a champion of IDEA for your organization, and you can learn and improve within your sphere of influence but to ensure your organization is moving together towards a better, safer and more inclusive workplace you need to combine collective learning.
When searching for individual learning that fits your needs and workstyle, have you considered CCDI Consulting’s DEI for Individuals? We have eLearning modules on specific IDEA topics to expand your awareness and tools so that you can pace your experience for yourself. Or if you are looking for an external structure with flexibility, consider one of many Open Enrollment Workshops. You can take one session on a specific topic to learn practical tools and strategies or take a tailored learning pathway of workshops to better prepare yourself for IDEA implementation in the workplace and receive a certificate. You can access our eLearning modules at any time, with new topics being released throughout the year or participate in one of our many workshops offered multiple times throughout the year. Furthermore, we have many resources to access for alternative learning opportunities to start off your IDEA learning journey.
Self-directed learning is a key concept in sustainable lifelong learning. IDEA knowledge is a lifelong learning commitment as the world around us constantly changes and inclusion becomes more and more vital. If you are interested in learning more about Individual IDEA learning, please ensure to register for our upcoming free webinar on the topic. This webinar will cover navigating research and how to effectively take on self-directed learning. It will also cover understanding your role as a learner in your organization, how to act as a change agent and ultimately acquiring the tools needed to influence change.
Good luck on your IDEA learning journey. We hope you consider using self-directed learning approaches to support your organizations. Please consider CCDI Consulting as a resource to explore when mapping out your learning pathways.
Our newsletter and blogs feature personal opinions and diverse viewpoints. We aim to create a safe space for our team to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Please note that individual articles may not align with every reader's view or comprehensively cover a topic. We appreciate the diversity of opinions and respect our team's contributions.