To achieve Step 1, individuals will be able to identify when they need help, and find someone appropriate who can help them with to complete the task.
In the previous step, individuals showed that they could complete tasks by following instructions. This step builds on that by introducing the idea that they might be able to seek help if they are unable to do something by themselves.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
There are times when we all can find something difficult. This maybe because we do not understand something. This can often happen when we are trying to learn something new. As a learner this can feel like a problem. As we think about the problem we have, it is always worth remembering to look back at any instructions we have been given, or thinking if the problem is like another we have had before which make help us solve it. The important thing is to not panic. There is almost always someone who will be able to help us become ‘unstuck’: a friend, a teacher or lecturer, or another member of staff.
At work there are often many tasks to be done. It is therefore very likely, that sometimes you may feel you have a problem and need some help. When you feel like this, it is always worth pausing for a moment and thinking about who is going to be best placed to help you with this particular problem. Will a colleague be able to advise? Do you need to ask your manager for support or further training? Who will have the knowledge or experience, as well as the time to help? What if they cannot help you come to a solution? What will your next move be? As you consider your plan, the important thing is not to give up if the first person you ask is unable to help you. They might be able to suggest someone else or recommend another way of finding the answer for yourself. It will be essential that any task is completed.
There is a saying ‘if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well’. This could be any job or task in the home, in education, in your place or work. It is inevitable from time to time you will come across a problem in one of these areas. A problem may present itself and you may feel you need some help to find a solution to move forward. It is important not to panic or worry when this happens. Instead, think carefully about the situation. Recall any instructions you were given and think about whether a parent or carer, a friend, a neighbour, a teacher, a colleague, a manager or other person we know (or even someone totally different) might be able to help you. There are many people and organisations who can offer support if we ask for help.
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 naturally reinforced in class. For example, it could become a mantra that when learners are struggling with something, they have to ask themselves the three questions:
If they still do need help, they can be encouraged to think about who the best person to ask is, and who else could help them if they can’t.
This step can be assessed through sustained observation – for example, observing the behaviour of a learner over a sustained time and whether they can identify those problems that they genuinely need help with, and then ask an appropriate person for that help.
Alternatively, an activity could be used as the basis of assessment, as suggested in the Teaching It section above with a range of problems that need different people to help (as well as potentially a couple that learners should be able to resolve alone).
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:
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: