To achieve Step 2, individuals will show that they can keep trying when something goes wrong.
In earlier steps, the focus was on identifying emotions in themselves and others. This is an essential precursor to being able to manage the emotional response to give up when something goes wrong, and to keep trying instead.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Learning can be challenging. It is not always possible to get all things right first time. Things will go wrong. When taking in lots of information, which might be complicated and tricky to understand, we may begin to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or anxious. These feelings can be quite normal when learning something new. We all might feel like giving up sometimes. If you feel sad, angry or scared, the natural response can be to take yourself out of the situation and do something else to avoid what is causing you stress. In some cases, for example if you are in danger, then that is the right response. At other times though, we need to think about how to be resilient - how to keep going despite feeling negative emotions. In education this is important if we are to continue learning and developing.
With busy work schedules, targets to be met, meetings to be had and the feeling of having lots to get done in never quite enough time, it is no surprise that in the workplace things can sometimes go wrong. Negative emotions can creep in. A person may even feel like the best thing to do is walkaway in order to avoid having to deal with whatever it is that has gone wrong. We need to work towards being more resilient to avoid just giving up. Speaking to a trusted colleague or line manager about any concerns we have in the workplace is advisable. They may be able to help you see how to overcome the setback. Negative emotions when something goes wrong in the workplace nearly always pass if we take positive action – just like they do in other places too.
None of us ever want something to go wrong. Unfortunately, in life, many things are out of our control. It is unavoidable that sometimes some things will go wrong. These might be small things – an unexpected shower of rain when you don’t have an umbrella or coat, or not being able to find something you need such as your keys or phone when you are in a rush. However, they might be much bigger things – the loss of a job, becoming ill, or the death of someone we know and love. When something goes wrong, it is usual to experience negative emotions such as sadness, frustration or disappointment. However, we need to avoid letting our emotional responses overwhelm us. We need to make sure we can always see and feel it is worth carrying on and that we do not give up.
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 ways. Sometimes when learners are facing setbacks themselves, a teacher can play an influential role in helping them to identify negative emotions they are feeling in response, and coach them to continue to persist even in the face of setbacks.
Learning about other world events, communities or characters in literature can also provide a range of scenarios and setbacks, which can be useful for framing a discussion about overcoming the urge to give up.
This step is best assessed through discussion and sustained observation, as learners face setbacks in their studies. It might also be explored through discussion, talking to learners about how they respond to setbacks in their wider lives beyond school.
This step will be relevant to those who face setbacks at work.
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 observation and 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.