To achieve Step 11, individuals will show that they can assess opportunities to identify the risks and gains that they might achieve from them.
In earlier steps, the focus was on how to look for opportunities in difficult situations, and then to adapt or develop plans in response. This step builds on this by thinking about the risks and potential gains in those situations, and how to identify them.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Educators work hard to reduce any risks in learning environments. When a learner thinks there is a risk, it is important that they take time to think about what the opportunities might be. For example, having to answer questions in a class or do a presentation in front of a group may bethought of as a ‘risk’ – what if they say the wrong thing or forget what to say? The risk of embarrassment might prevent the student from contributing, but what if they may get the answer correct or deliver a great presentation which everyone enjoys, resulting in good grades. Making sure that both risks and opportunities have been considered is important.
In the workplace, as decisions are made, it is essential that the impact of any risk is considered along with their likelihood. Percentage probabilities can be given to different outcomes, both the positives and the negatives. The positives may be referred to as potential gains. These would be the desirable or intended outcomes as a result of any project within a business or organisation. This is when a value is attached to a certain outcome of a project. The value may be seen as an increased profit or income, or an environmental or social gain.
Risks are those things that might happen which would have a negative effect on an individual, a family or a community for example. Some risks can be thought of as dangers or threats to life such as natural disasters, serious accidents or illnesses. Other risks, whilst not necessarily dangerous, can have serious consequences, such as financial losses to individuals or organisations, and impact on a community. Driving a car very fast for example may get you to where you want to go quicker, but if you are involved in an accident as a result of speeding or get caught speeding, the consequences could be far reaching and very serious. Due to the uncertainty of risks, it is always worth thinking about what would happen if the risk did happen and also what the likelihood of the risk happening might be so that you are best informed as you make a decision.
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:
This step can be effectively reinforced in several subject areas, particularly business studies, economics, geography and history. Current affairs can also be a great source of timely examples about the importance of weighing up gains and risks when making decisions.
This step is best assessed in combination:
This step will be relevant to individuals who weigh up situations at work as part of a process of deciding what actions to take.
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.