Are You Open to Learning?

Okay, welcome to lesson three. And what we’re gonna focus on here is, are you open to learning? Are you prepared to do what is necessary to do the learning that is required to become a social worker. And first of all, I want to go back to the idea of knowledge, skills and values that I talked about earlier. I’ve already emphasized the significance of the knowledge base, the skills base, and the values base of social work. Now, what we have to be prepared to do in social work is to build on each of these. Unfortunately, what some people do in some types of work, is the cycle for the BIM of knowledge they need to get by, they are what I would call minimalists. Now, David’s know the basics, once they know the basics, they have no interest in learning any further, they will stick with the basics to get to do the minimum they need to do to basically not get fired, who can be able to keep their job in social work, that’s simply not good enough, there is a significant knowledge base that can be really useful, that can help us understand complex situations that can help us to solve some of the riddles and puzzles that we come across in social work that is in a much stronger position, to be able to make a positive difference to somebody’s life. And so we have to be open to learning, we have to be prepared, keep learning not to settle for what we already know, and keep our fingers crossed that enough. But all the time be prepared to add to that knowledge to keep on learning throughout our career. So that’s the knowledge element, and skills. And again, some people are quite happy to settle for the basic skills. And I’m not interested in going further than that. And that might be okay, in some jobs, it’s not okay, in social work, we have to have that commitment and develop our skills. Social Work is a professional job. And one of the aspects of social work that is important is that as a profession, we need to keep learning, one of the things we associate with being a professional is that professionals get better over time. The idea that somebody could have five years experience, for example, and not be any better than they were after five weeks, is simply not acceptable in a professional setting. And social work is no different. So the idea is that the longer you’ve been doing the job, the better you are at it, which of course is quite a reasonable expectation. Now, if that’s the case, then what that means is we can’t just settle for the skills that we’ve already got, we need to take them to a more advanced level over time, we need to build on them. Let me use nonverbal communication as an example. The use of nonverbal communication is really, really important social work. If you’re trying to get across an important message to somebody, for example, if you’re trying to understand what somebody who’s very distressed, is going through what they’re trying to tell you, and so on being able to read their body language, as well as just hear what they’re saying, is really, really important. Now, the vast majority of people will develop a certain level of skills in nonverbal communication, just as part of growing up. So the basic level, most all of us will have. But the point I’m trying to make is the expectation in profession, like Social Work is you need to build on those skills over time. So if you’re already good at nonverbal communication, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get better doesn’t mean that you can’t become more skillful over time. And I’m just using nonverbal communication as an example. It’s not the only aspect, any of the skills that we use, we can get better over time. So we have to have that commitment. We have to be open to learning, not just rest on our laurels and say, yeah, I’m okay, I’m quite skillful at x, y, or Zed, but be prepared to say yes, I’m quite skillful. But I want to be even more skillful. Because the more skillful I am, the better job I can do, the better equipped I’ll be and make a positive difference in what I’m doing. That’s the knowledge that’s the skills but also the values. As I’ve said before, values are complex, difficult issues. So we need to keep that Upon understanding the need to get more well versed choisissez in being able to deal with some of the complexities of the dilemmas, the complications that are involved in values issues, we need to be prepared to learn more about the values issues, whether that to both the traditional values like dignity, respect, and so on, or whether it is about engaging with some of these complex issues about equality, diversity, inclusion, and so on, in prepared to understand how easy it is for discrimination to arise, for example, without anybody intending it to happen, but still having to be aware of it, tuned into it and prepared to address it. So learning more about values, becoming more competent and confident in dealing with values issues is also something we need to build up over time, again, throughout our career, not to the point where you get your qualification. So we need to be open to learn in terms of knowledge, skills, and values. But that’s not all there is to things, we also have to be open to learning about our humility, and your willingness to learn from mistakes. And what I mean by humility is being prepared to recognize that we will get things wrong, sometimes we will fail sometimes, in fact, it’s not uncommon to fail, because given how difficult situations we are involved in, in social work, how difficult complex they are, then it’s not surprising that we can’t have 100% success rate. Think about other professions and their success rate. Think about how often, for example, the police is not able to clear up certain crimes, they haven’t got the evidence, they haven’t got the information they need. So they don’t have 100% percent 100% success rate. Think about doctors, nurses, other health professions, and so on, they will do their best, they will make a positive difference. And generally, but there will be times when they fail, there will be times where things just don’t work out. Because despite what efforts have been put in 100% success rate is not possible. The same goes for social work. So we have to have humility. And what I mean by humility is being humble. Being prepared to accept that we are not all powerful, we can’t solve everybody’s problems, we can’t keep all the people happy all the time, there will be times when things don’t work out. And will be times when we make mistakes, that will be a significant issue in a negative sense only if those mistakes could have been prevented if we’ve been more careful. Or if we don’t learn from those mistakes, if we keep repeating mistakes that we’ve made before, rather than learning from the experience. So humility is about recognizing that we can’t have 100% success rate, not giving people the impression that we can make it clear to them what we can do and what we can’t do. That also not beating ourselves up when things don’t work out how we wanted. And on in circumstances where we do make a mistake. Now we’re prepared to learn from it, we could prepare to admit it and deal with it as positive and constructive. So you can not to try and pretend it didn’t happen, brush it under the carpet, or be defensive about it. Because that will not help anyone if we do that. So these are important issues that we have to be open to learning about. If you’re the sort of person who feels that you are a failure as a person, if you don’t succeed every time. Or if you’re somebody who find it difficult to admit mistakes and learn from them, then you have to think very carefully about whether you are heading in the right direction if you’re considering a career in social work. But on the positive side, it’s not too difficult to learn how to be humble, and to learn how to learn from mistakes and be positive about what can be bent, what can be gained in terms of learning about what went wrong and how we can hopefully do a better job next time. And last but not least in terms of are you open to learning is the question of self awareness. How tuned in are you to how you come across to other people about what impact you have on people. You may have noticed, for example, that some people have a very low level of self awareness. They are good oblivious to the way they’re coming across to other people. They may be annoying people and not Notice, they may be not listening to what other people are saying and just don’t pick up on that they’re so engrossed in their own issues that they can’t see how they’re behaving, it’s causing problems to others. So self awareness is in part about being able to tune into what impact Are you having on people. But the other side of the coin in terms of self awareness, as well is to understand what impact the situation is having on you? How are they making you feel? Are you anxious? Are you nervous? In which case? Why? What can we do about it? How can you get past that anxiety, and so on. So if you are not in attendance, in tune with yourself, that will hold you back in terms of being a very effective social worker. But these are things that can be learned. So it’s lesson lesson three is not about? Are you able to do this now? It’s about are you open to learning? Are you prepared to open up to new possibilities? Are you prepared to look at yourself? And how you come across to people, how you prepare to look at yourself and think about how situations affect you? For example, if you feel undermined in a particular set of circumstances, have you respond to that, if you’re working with a family, for example, where they the father in that family doesn’t value having so much work to support and it’s trying to isolate you or marginalize you to undermine you, and so on? and so on? How does that make you feel? How did the end? How do those feelings affect how you relate to that person? And how do you deal with the situation? Now, as I say, I don’t expect you have an answer to those questions. Now. That’s not what this topic in less than three of the bag. Are you prepared to learn about these things? Are you interested enough to find out more about yourself. So you can use yourself as a tool in the sense that your personality can be an important way of making a positive difference? Because at the end of the day, this is a key factor into work? Yeah, idea. It’s not a new idea. It’s a long standing idea. The idea that the greatest resource you have in Social Work is yourself, about how relating to people positively constructively, and getting their trust, dealing with them in an empathic way. So they feel valued and supported by you. These are the sort of things that can make a huge positive difference to people, particularly when they’re going through difficult circumstances, like a crisis, or when they’re grieving or whatever. But if you’re able to do these things, that will make a very positive difference. But it if you don’t have that self awareness, if you’ve never looked at yourself and thought about how do I come across to people? How do situations affect me, then you’re going to struggle with that. So self awareness is another aspect of what you need to be open to learning about, if you want a career in social work. So that brings us to the end of lesson three then, and we’ve been looking at are you open to learning? Sadly, I’ve come across people who’ve gone on Social Work courses, who have had a lot of free court experience, the very experienced, and some of those people have had this idea, that thing all they need to know, they can do the job, they just need to get through the court in order to get qualification that will enable them to move on in their career, and then struggled with the course because basically, they weren’t open to learning. They thought they knew already. That sort of arrogance, then acted as an obstacle moving forward. So the key point from Latin three is, are you prepared to be open to learning to look at the knowledge, the skills and values and build on them over time, not just to settle for the minimum you need, but to go for the maximum that can make the best results for you and for the people you serve? Are you prepared to be humble? And are you willing to learn from mistakes, to admit mistakes and not try and cover them up, for example? And are you prepared to look at yourself, learn about yourself and develop a greater level of self awareness so that you’re in much better position to make a positive difference in helping others. Okay, hope you found this useful. And I look forward to seeing you in lesson four when you’re ready. Thank you.