To achieve Step 12, individuals will have to show that they can think about where differences in perspectives might come from.
In the previous step, the focus was on recognising and comparing different standpoints. This step builds on this by encouraging individuals to think more deeply about where diverse views come from, the better build empathy and understanding.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In education, we often work and interact with people who have different views of things. We might hear about different perspectives when discussing topical issues in a student council meeting, during a debate or in a seminar. It can be a positive experience hearing how other people view a complex idea as it challenges our own beliefs and helps us to make informed decisions about how we feel about something. It can also be a difficult experience if their perspective directly challenges our own or others around us. In both cases, it’s important to have the tools to break down someone’s perspective and understand where it comes from. This helps us to better understand the world and make informed decisions about a given topic.
When working as part of an organisation, it is beneficial to have a diversity of thought. Differences in perspectives can be advantageous for a company as it helps them to build a greater understanding of society and provide better support or services. By effectively considering where different perspectives come from, you can better understand your customers and clients and what they are looking for. When presented with different viewpoints, it’s important to listen critically to ensure you remain objective. This will help you to make well-informed and considered decisions that are beneficial for the business and its success.
Listening to different perspectives helps us grow, stretch our thinking and see the world from diverse viewpoints. Individual perspectives are influenced by a range of things such as the information available to that person, the experiences we have had, our beliefs and values as well as assumptions we have about the world. In order to better understand others, it is important to consider how their perspectives have been formed. This will help us to build stronger relationships with others and be more empathetic to those whose perspectives may differ from our own.
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 step can be reinforced effectively by encouraging learners to take a more critical approach to how they take in information and assess different perspectives. When they read differing accounts or opinion pieces, they can be challenged to analyse what they see as causing those differences.
This step is best assessed through a structured analysis task, either based around something that is topical in current affairs or related to their wider subject learning. Learners can be asked to either discuss or write about a comparison of perspectives, and their analysis of where those different perspectives come from. The teacher is looking for evidence of the learner identifying and exploring some of the layers above.
This step is relevant to individuals who use their listening skills to understand different perspectives on a complex issue and make decisions about what to do next.
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 questioning. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed 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.
As a parent or carer, you might be thinking about how best to support your children to build their essential skills. The good news is that there is lots that you can do that will have a big impact, including:
We’ve developed a whole series of tools and resources to help parents to build these skills, including:
There is also content for older children and young people, including short activities and reflections that they can complete alone, or with you.