To achieve Step 1, individuals will have to demonstrate that they can listen to and recall a short series of 3-5 instructions.
This builds on the previous step of being able to listen without interrupting and starts to focus on the retention of information. It might apply to listening to a manager, instructor or a peer.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
We have to listen to instructions in many different parts of our lives: whether we are being taught something new, being given a job to do, or just completing tasks in our wider lives.
We must listen to instructions carefully – to make sure that we do exactly what is being expected, so that we don’t make mistakes or place ourselves into situations of danger.
Sometimes people struggle to listen to instructions because:
To help learners to concentrate we suggest a three-step approach:
It should be possible to store and recall three simple instructions within our working memories. They then need to be considered and processed to pass into our longer-term memory. To help things to stick in our long-term memories we can:
If there are more than three instructions it can be hard to remember them. We might need to put them into smaller sub-sets of instructions. In most cases though, we would write down lengthier sets of instructions. We come on to doing this in Step 5.
Listening to instructions forms part of everyday life, especially in education. We may do this when learning new content, completing a job or when we act on requests from others. When we are unable to listening effectively, it can lead to problems with behaviour, incomplete or incorrect work or finding ourselves in possibly dangerous situations. Many types of examination require you to demonstrate your understanding of short instructions in order to achieve marks. In schools and colleges, we are expected to remember large amounts of information so being able to listen and remember instructions is important for our success.
It is important to listen and remember short instructions in the workplace. Verbal instructions form the foundation of many jobs, often explaining how to complete a given task. These may come from managers, colleagues or customers but you must be able to store, recall and process that information effectively. Whatever your role, if you support customers, liaise with stakeholders or have others relying on your work, then ensuring you deliver what’s expected is critical. When we are unable to listen to short instructions, we are more likely to make mistakes which could lead to tasks taking longer, requiring more resources or losing customer trust which could all have a negative impact on our job and workplace.
We need to listen and follow instructions in many different parts of our lives outside of education and work. We could be taking part in an activity with others, playing a game, cooking a meal or putting together a piece of furniture and these might require us to follow instructions. By being able to successfully listen and follow instructions, we are able to build positive relationships with others through group activities and be successful when undertaking a task or new activity.
To best practise this step of Listening, 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 is a step that lends itself to regular practice in the classroom setting, and once mastered will support learning and a positive classroom dynamic. As a teacher you can:
This step is best assessed through a practical exercise. For example:
This step is relevant to anyone working with others in the course of their work, be they colleagues, customers or partners.
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 observation.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
Observing the individual during an assessment exercise in which the individual listens to verbal instructions to produce a prototype or object to a particular specification. The individual’s production can be checked for accuracy to determine how well they have listened and remembered an instruction.
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: