To achieve Step 14, individuals will show that they are able to support others to stay positive by helping them to recognise opportunities.
The previous step focused on helping others to stay positive through us managing our own emotional responses to events or news. This step builds on this further by thinking about how to help others to identify opportunities when there are too.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In Step 7 and Step 8, we explored how to identify opportunities in difficult situations. This step builds on this by focusing on how you can coach and support others to identify those opportunities for themselves.
Coaching in this context is about facilitating and supporting others to reach conclusions for themselves. There is good evidence that individuals who identify opportunities for themselves are more likely to be invested in making them successful. This about them having a greater sense of ownership over the opportunities they have identified.
Critically, coaching is not about being directive but rather around helping to structure someone to reach the answer by themselves, and this is where questioning is invaluable.
The reason that this is such an advanced step for Staying Positive is that it requires you to first have a high level of skill in managing your own ability to stay positive and deal with the emotional impact of events before you can begin to coach someone else.
Before you can coach someone, you need to be in a positive mindset yourself – you can explore more how to do this in Step 13.
Likewise, to coach someone else, you won’t get far until they are also in the right mindset. Broadly, this means that they:
To get to this productive mindset, a combination of approaches are likely to be important:
Once you have helped individuals to get back to a place of calm, you should ask them whether they are ready to explore some of the opportunities in the situation.
Since coaching is about helping another individual to find an answer for themselves, questioning is a critical part of coaching. Good questioning takes the individual being coached on a journey, and the flow of the questions is important. One structure that you might use is:
In this way, good coaching can help us to move from disappointment or worse, to identifying opportunities.
Many educators recognise that learners need to have a sense of ownership over their learning. It is widely recognised that learners who identify opportunities for themselves are more likely to work hard and remain engaged. When a learner encounters a difficulty with their learning, if someone is able to help them to them identify what exactly the difficulty is, deal with it calmly and focus on opportunities and solutions – they are much more likely to be able to stay positive and stick with the learning. A coaching model, is ideal, as it supports the learner to adopt a positive growth mind set to move forward. Effective coaching can help a learner move from frustration, anger or anxiety towards concentration, motivation and aspiration.
In recent years, coaching has become more common in many workplaces. Coaching is about helping and supporting others to reach conclusions, find solutions and take action for themselves. Research has shown that individuals who are able to do this are much more likely to stick with a task or project - seeking to get their job done in the best possible way. A work place coach needs to have a high level of skill in this area themselves. They need to be able to stay positive and deal with the emotional impact of events with a positive mind set. Since coaching is about helping another individual to find an answer for themselves, questioning is a critical part of coaching. Good questioning takes the individual being coached on a journey. Training to develop an effective coaching style can be undertaken to help colleagues in the workplace.
There will be times in your personal life when being able to support others to stay positive and look for opportunities will be a valuable skill to have. Whilst being able to communicate to a friend or family member that their emotional response was valid and understandable, it is important to help them move beyond it, or they will continue to feel the negative emotions. By focusing on what has already been achieved, or encouraging them to look to the positives as to what might come later, you can offer support through focused questioning.
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 idea of coaching can be reinforced in lots of different settings and can be used in the classroom when learners are facing particular challenges relating to their studies or wider educational choices.
This step is best assessed through observation of the learner applying some of the coaching techniques to another individual to help them think beyond a particular challenge to identify new opportunities. This can be supplemented by a reflection and debrief afterwards to illustrate some of the techniques that the learner is aware of.
This step will be relevant to individuals who help others to turn setbacks into opportunities, either as a manager themselves or team member.
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 collecting feedback and having reflective discussions. 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: