To achieve Step 5, individuals will show persistence in the face of setbacks, and also be able to influence the emotional reactions of others positively too.
In earlier steps, the focus was on how individuals focus on their emotional response to things going wrong – persisting where appropriate, staying calm, and being able to analyse and take learning out of a situation. This next step focuses on engaging with others and supporting them to manage their emotional responses too.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Feeling negative emotions can create a barrier or block to learning. In education, we are often expected to work with others on assignments, presentations or in lessons and being able to cheer others up when something goes wrong is incredibly useful. Knowing and understanding how we feel when we are finding something difficult or feel something has gone wrong for us means we can support others to keep trying and not give up when they are finding something difficult. We might be able to use clues from their facial expressions, their behaviour or things they say, or don’t say, to help us understand how they are feeling. They may be worried about what might happen because something has gone wrong. They may look to blame someone else for any difficulty. When we seek to cheer another person up first think about how they might be feeling and why and then chose what to do next.
In the workplace you may come across many types of people. They may be your colleagues, your managers, your customers or clients. They may all react to things going wrong in different ways. When seeking to offer support and cheer someone up, it is important to recognise their emotions so that you may choose the right approach to take to avoid making any negative situation worse. The better you know the other individual, the easier it usually is to think about what will be most effective in getting them back into a positive emotional state. It might be to make a favourite drink for a colleague or to suggest they take a walk with you in a break to get some fresh air. It may be to make a call to check in on them and have a chat. Whatever approach, it is important to remember people will take differing amounts of time to ‘cheer up’ depending on the nature of what has gone wrong. Being able to cheer up other people in the workplace will also effectively show managers or leaders that you are a supportive colleague.
Things will go wrong for people that we know in our lives. Difficulties can arise for people when the thing that has gone wrong causes them to feel negative emotions which they feel they cannot change. If someone feels sad, angry or scared it can make them behave in ways that are not helpful to them or others around them. Being in a negative emotional state can stop them from wanting to continue with a task, even if they really should. It can stop them from thinking clearly about the situation they find themselves in. By being able to spot how someone else might be feeling when something goes wrong, you can try to cheer them up and help them feel more positive again. This can help you to build strong relationships with relatives, friends or others.
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 lends itself well to reinforcement in the classroom setting, where there are opportunities for learners to work together. In these cases, there will inevitably be setbacks or things that go wrong, and these provide opportunities for learners to apply their skill of being able to cheer others up.
Reflection after such events will help learners to capture those experiences for themselves, and make it more likely they can perform the skill step effectively in the future.
This step can be assessed through a hypothetical exercise where learners are presented with different characters displaying different behaviours and either discuss or write about how they might cheer them up after something has gone wrong.
It might also be assessed through a team exercise where a setback is deliberately introduced to identify where learners are able to quickly stabilise their team and cheer others up.
This step will be relevant to individuals who encounter setbacks and might work through these with other people.
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 can be assessed through discussion, feedback or observation. 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.