To achieve Step 0, individuals will show that they can follow simple instructions to complete tasks.
This is the first step towards becoming an effective problem solver, and is strongly related to some of the early steps around listening (being able to recall and follow simple instructions). The difference here is that the instructions might also be given in a written or visual format.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Instructions tell or show us how to do something. They can help us to solve problems or learn how to do something new.
Instructions come in lots of different forms. For example:
We might receive instructions:
Almost all instructions will follow an order: you have to do one thing, then the next, and then the next. If we do not follow the order of these instructions, it is unlikely that the task will be completed accurately.
Before we get ready to follow instructions, there are things we can do to help us:
Instructions tell or show us how to do something. Being able to follow instructions will help us to solve problems and learn new things.In education, we are regularly given instructions either verbally, in writing or through pictures and diagrams. As a learner, it is important that we know what we are hoping to learn or achieve - what the end goal is. That way we can focus on the task, working through the instructions in order and checking as we go. By doing this, we are more likely to successfully complete a task and learn something new.
In any workplace there will be instructions that must be followed. These instructions come in different forms and employees are expected to follow them successfully. They may be instructions to make sure products or services for customers are good quality or to ensure tasks are done quickly and professionally. The instructions may be shared when you join the company or organisation as part of your initial training and shared verbally or in writing and picture form. Ongoing training and support will also be provided when updated or new instructions are shared. By following the instructions you will be able to successfully complete any tasks required of your job role.
Everyday there are lots of different instructions to follow. Instructions come in lots of different forms. A recipe, for example is a set of instructions to tell you how to bake or cook something. A packet or tin of food will have heating instructions. A map with directions is a set of instructions to help you find your way somewhere. Almost all games come with a set of instructions to help someone know how to play it. Clothes come with washing labels, instructing us how to wash and care for them. Some furniture you can buy has instructions of how to build the item. Being able to follow all kinds of instructions will help us with our daily life.
To best practise this step of Problem Solving, 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 in the classroom, as instructions are often given. At these points, the best reinforcement is to remind learners explicitly that they are about to follow instructions and to take them through the five guidelines (if appropriate). Afterwards, learners can be encouraged to reflect on whether they followed the instructions effectively.
This step is best assessed through observation of a structured activity. For example, giving learners simple sets of instructions in a verbal, written and visual formats and evaluating whether they can complete the task by following those instructions successfully.
This step is relevant to all individuals who are involved in solving problems at work.
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. For instance:
Spotting it in recruitment:
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.
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: