To achieve Step 3, individuals should react to setbacks by staying calm and continuing to try hard at the task, if appropriate.
In the previous step, the focus was on individuals continuing to work at something when something goes wrong. This step builds on that by focusing on not just persisting but staying calm to allow for a measured response.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In the previous step, we explored how things going wrong can often lead to a negative emotional reaction.
Sometimes when something bad happens, we might feel sad. However, sometimes we have a stronger negative emotional response of feeling angry or scared:
Whilst learning we can experience differing emotions. Some positive and some negative. If we are finding some new learning particularly challenging, or when we feel like we have lots to do and not enough time or resources to do it, we can become anxious or stressed. Negative feelings can affect the way we speak and listen to others, or work with them on any shared tasks. We should seek to stay calm when things feel like they are going wrong in our educational setting. Losing our ‘cool’ in a stressful learning environment could affect our learning in a negative way and should be avoided.
Whether in the office, retail space, factory, or off-site, we may experience something going wrong in our working day. This can be challenging as we are all only human and will experience an emotional response. It is possible to change strong negative emotions such as anger and frustration and to get back to a state of calm. Being calm is helpful because it gives space to think about the situation and come up with possible solutions. It is hard to make good plans, find creative solutions or develop new ideas if you are not feeling calm first.
Sometimes when things go wrong, we may find that we have very strong negative emotional response. When this happens, we need to be careful that we do not take an action which could end up making things no better and might even make them much worse. If we are worried or scared, we might retreat – run away and give up, when, had we carried on, we could have achieved something. Or we might feel angry and look to blame someone else. This may mean we respond aggressively and damage our relationship with them. It is therefore important to develop ways to remain calm in negative situations where ever we may be.
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 in a classroom setting. It might be worth having a visual reminder of what an individual can do to stay calm in the face of setbacks which can be referred to if learners are scared or angry in the context of the classroom or elsewhere in the school.
It might also be possible to provide learners with regular reflective opportunities for them to think about their emotions of the week, and how they have managed any setbacks.
This step is best assessed through observing how learners respond to setbacks in the classroom or things going wrong – including how they interact with their teachers, parents and peers outside of learning.
This step will be relevant to those who encounter 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 by observing an individual over a series of events. 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: