Why this skill step matters in education
In education, we are often set tasks by teachers or lecturers and there is a clear expectation that we complete those tasks fully. However, we can sometimes find that we do not have enough information to complete it. When this happens, it is important that we make the effort to find the extra information we need and not just hand the task in incomplete. We can find out more by thinking about the problem and looking in different places, such as in books, magazines or searching online for key facts, dates or instructions. We might need to ask questions of our teachers, lecturers, friends or others to get further information.
Why this skill step matters in the workplace
Just as in education, at work you may find in order to complete a task you need to gather more information. As you work on a task, questions may begin to form in your head. You need to be clear what extra information you need. Then, you can go about finding it. You may be able to do this by reading instructions or training materials, perhaps online, or searching back through emails and other communications. Sometimes the extra information can be gathered from a colleague, a manager, a customer or a client by speaking with them.
Why this skill step matters in the wider world
Depending on the task you have to complete, there are lots of types of information you might need: Dates, times, costs, sizes, names, addresses and much more. If there is no one to ask, for some information you need, a good starting point can be an online search. However, it is always worth checking that the sites you access are reliable sources of information.
How to practise this skill step
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!
- Imagine you are planning on taking a trip to visit another city in the country. What will you need to know to successfully plan for the trip? Make a list of all the questions you will need to answer and where you can find that information if you don’t have the answer straight away.
- Plan a small event for a family or friendship group. Make a list all of the things you will need to know to complete the task. Have a go at answering as many of the questions as you can. For any that you do not know the answer to, consider where or how you can get that information. Will you need to ask someone? Do some research? Will you be able to complete the task?
- Create a ‘how to’ guide or poster to help others to remind them how to complete a task when they need to find extra information for themselves.