To achieve Step 4, individuals should show that they can take a positive attitude to new challenges.
In earlier steps, individuals built some of the foundations of this step. They have shown they can recognise and take pride in success, as well as knowing when something is too difficult or dangerous for them to attempt.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In education there are lots of opportunities to take on new challenges: starting a new class, learning a different topic or subject, managing homework or independent study, working with new people or volunteering on a student council. Taking on different challenges is what helps us learn and is anexciting way to discover new interests. In every subject, when we find our stretch zone we should feel like the balance is just right – not too easy but not too difficult. We can try to work out our stretch zone ourselves or our teachers may support us and suggest work that is at the right level.
The context of the workplace is rapidly changing and jobs and projects can often present new challenges. Working with a positive approach helps us grow and develop our skills and can open up new pathways in our career. We might take on a new responsibility, navigate new software or collaborate with a different team. Working positively also helps to create a good environment for those around us, be it our colleagues, customers or clients.
We can come across challenges in all areas of our lives. We might find we have reached a point in a hobby or sport where it is too easy, or we no longer enjoy it as much, and feel ready to take on the next level. If we avoid doing things which are more challenging, and just stick to what we are already good at, then we won’t learn or improve. For example, we might feel nervous about meeting people but by staying positive we have the chance to make new friends. Often if we look back at challenges we have overcome, and the decisions we made as a result, these are key moments which we can be proud of and which help us to move forward.
To best practise this step of Aiming High, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step lends itself to reinforcement in the classroom. The teacher can introduce opportunities for learners to take on more stretching challenges if they feel that they can quickly achieve the success criteria for tasks that they have been given.
Recognition can also be given to learners who are trying out something new and stretching so that they build new knowledge or skill. This is an essential complement to recognising success.
This step is best assessed through sustained observation and reflection with learners about whether they seek out new challenges or whether they stay in their comfort zone of only doing things that they know they will be successful at.
This step is relevant to everyone who has the opportunity to take on new challenges in the workplace.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through sustained observation. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: