To achieve Step 15, individuals will show that they can help others to see opportunities and coach them to create plans to achieve them.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to coach individuals through setbacks to be able to identify positive opportunities. This step expands on that, by focusing on how individuals can also coach and support others to build plans around those opportunities.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In the previous step, we highlighted how these advanced steps of staying positive move beyond your own ability to stay positive, to being able to support others too. The coaching method is the foundation of how to do that effectively.
In this context, coaching is about supporting and guiding someone towards reaching a solution for themselves. It is about facilitating, not directing. It is about questioning, not telling.
To be able to coach someone effectively to develop plans in the face of a setback requires the ability to manage your own emotions, to calm the other person, and then to use careful questioning to help uncover opportunities. These elements were covered in Step 14.
We pick up here to focus on how to support someone to turn those opportunities they’ve identified into realistic plans.
You have probably already come across a SWOT analysis. Here, the focus is on how you can use questioning to help someone to identify the strengths and weaknesses that they or their team might bring to an opportunity. Some key questions might include:
At the end of this exercise, the individual should have a clear, accurate sense of where their strengths and weaknesses lie in relation to the opportunity they’ve identified.
Secondly, we want to help the individual to think about the situation itself:
If we do this exercise well, then the individual should end up seeing the opportunity in the context and also acknowledge the threats and risks that exist too.
Coaching someone else, the most vital thing is to help them to reach real clarity on their goal from the opportunity. This should include their primary goal, and then any secondary (or supporting) goals:
These goals give us our end – what we are working towards achieving.
We can then work backwards from here. The normal stages of a plan include:
Scoping and research – understanding the problem more fully.
Idea creation – developing different ideas for how the opportunity can be realised.
Testing ideas – putting ideas into practice and seeing how they work.
Reviewing and improvements – seeing whether the ideas worked in practice and how they might be improved. The cycle of testing ideas, reviewing and making improvements is likely to continue until they feel confident that they are getting towards your goals.
Putting into practice or production – putting the idea into production, completing the experiments and solving the problems.
At this level, you have mastered staying positive. You’ve demonstrated that you can respond to setbacks, manage emotional responses and create positive plans in response to setbacks. Beyond that, you’ve been able to take that skill and use it to coach and support others too.
When coaching someone in an education context, it is important that both coach and the learner really knows what the end goal is. Is it to learn a brand new concept? Are they working towards completing an assignment or scoring highly on a test or exam? There will be a primary goal and possibly secondary goals. These goals give the learner their end – what they are working towards – what they wish to achieve, and therefore the learner and their coach can work together to create a plan to help them reach their goals.
Often in the workplace, those individuals who are effective at managing their own emotional response to challenging situations, will find they can offer either formal or informal coaching to colleagues. Coaching is about supporting and guiding someone towards reaching a solution to any challenge for themselves, not telling them what to do. It is about careful questioning and then creating realistic plans together. When coaching a colleague, you can help them carry out a SWOT analysis for example of the situation they find themselves in. This will help them to clearly see their end goal and will guide them to create an action plan to work towards it with a greater positivity and focus.
To be able to coach someone effectively, whatever the setting, whether in education, home or the workplace requires skill and focus. A coach may need to first calm the person down, or cheer them up, if they are having an extreme emotional response. The use of careful questioning to uncover opportunities to move forwards will be needed before a realistic plan of action can be created. Reminding a friend, family member or colleague that coaching is not about giving them the answers but about helping them to find the answers for themselves may be needed.
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 reinforced whenever there is the opportunity for learners to create plans – whether in response to a setback, or just to address a challenge. This might be related to their educational or life plans, or to their studies more generally.
This step is best assessed through observation of learners coaching each other to create plans. The teacher is looking to identify that learners can support one another through the stages of developing those plans. This can be explored further through reflection to identify the techniques and approaches the learner took.
This step will be relevant to individuals who help others to turn setbacks into opportunities and new plans, as a team member or a manager themselves.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through collecting feedback. 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: