To achieve Step 0, individuals will be able to recognise when they are feeling positive or negative.
This is the first step in the skill of Staying Positive – the ability to identify emotions that are mainly positive and those that are primarily negative in themselves.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
How we feel can change how we speak and behave. Whether we feel a positive or negative emotion can have an impact on our ability to take in, use or remember information. A negative emotion, such as feeling worried, angry or sad about something, may make it difficult to concentrate to learn something new, or enjoy an activity. When we feel happy, well-rested and energised - any positive emotion - we may be keen and eager to learn. It is important to know both our positive and negative feelings and be able to give those feelings a name so that we can talk about them and find ways to support our learning.
During a typical working day or week, we may experience a whole range of emotions – both positive and negative. How we feel can affect how we look, speak and work with others – whether we smile and look relaxed or whether we looked stressed and miserable with our colleagues, our managers, our customers and clients. Some negative emotions can make it more difficult than others to deal with and it is important to understand the effect we may behaving not only on our self and our own work but on others too in the workplace. Being able to name, describe and talk about our feelings can help us to make sure our work and our mental health is not affected by any negative emotions.
At different times and in particular situations, we may feel a more positive or negative emotion. Before going on holiday, we may feel very excited. Minutes before we have to leave the house to get to an appointment, we may feel unhappy or even a little cross if we are enjoying an activity already. How we feel is likely to affect how we behave. In order to treat others the way we would wish to be treated ourselves and to achieve the things we want to do; it is important to recognise how we feel. The first step to being able to deal with our feelings is to be able to recognise the positive or negative emotion and be able to name and talk about how we feel.
To best practise this step of Staying Positive, 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:
The teacher can introduce the idea of emotions, and ask learners to think about occasions when they have felt positive or negative emotions. If it doesn’t come up naturally in the discussion, introduce the three broad types of feelings for each of positive and negative:
Ensure that learners understand what each of these mean. They could then be asked to come up with ideas of when they might feel those different emotions.
This activity could be extended to a set of different hypothetical scenarios with learners identifying the feelings that they might feel in each of those.
This step can be reinforced in different ways, depending on the age and context of the learners. In a primary school setting, learners could regularly check in on how they are feeling at different times throughout the school day.
In a secondary school setting, the use of a reflective journal or other personal space for reflection on learners’ feelings might be appropriate.
This step is best assessed through discussion. For example, asking learners to identify different positive or negative emotions that they might feel, and in what situation they might experience them. This sort of assessment has to be managed carefully. The focus should remain on whether learners can identify when they feel positive or negative.
This step will be relevant to everyone in their working lives.
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 discussion. 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.