To achieve Step 8, individuals will show that they can identify real opportunities in challenging situations and then articulate them to others.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to look for opportunities in difficult situations. This step expands on that by also thinking about how to communicate those opportunities to others.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
A positive emotional state is needed for effective learning to take place. If another student is feeling angry, scared or upset they may need help to calm down, relax or cheer up. You may be able to do this by: listening to them, reassuring them and giving them space if they need it to calm down. When working with others, you may encounter difficult situations and this can result in a negative working environment. They may need support to identify what has already been achieved to keep them motivated or a reminder of what success will look like. It helps to be reminded that they can overcome any setbacks and that others in the team are rooting for them to do so. By sharing these opportunities with others, you are more likely to successfully complete the work, assignment or project.
Sometimes in the workplace, people may find it difficult to accept the support of a colleague or a manager when they find themselves in a difficult situation. They may be embarrassed and do not wish to acknowledge the challenge they face. It is important there is someone who will be looking out for them. That person may be a colleague or a manager – someone who is willing to take time to listen, will reach out to talk with them, who will acknowledge their feelings about the situation and who will support them to see what the positives might be. If you can support them and give them time to see the opportunities available, they will have a greater sense of helping themselves. This leads to increased motivation to action any changes to improve the situation.
Difficult situations can crop up anytime, anywhere. These could be in your personal life, friendship groups or within your community. If you can aim to look for the opportunities when they do, you can be the person in any group who spreads positivity. It is important to be clear you recognise the difficulty, respect the feelings of others involved and fully understand the situation. You do not want others to think you do not take difficulties seriously or are always over optimistic. However if you are able to get the balance right, you can promote a more positive environment and get the results that everyone is aiming for.
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 is a step which can be deployed in the classroom through the objective assessment of a particular situation as a group – whether the scenario comes from geography, history, literature or any number of other subjects. This is a safer way of building learners’ confidence in being able to analyse a situation.
It might also be expanded to group projects, working on a particular scenario. Eventually, there might be real-life occasions where it is helpful to deploy this step to analyse a situation and work through it.
This step can be observed through an assessed activity – for example, by building off subject learning when analysing the positives and negatives of a seemingly bad situation. Learners could be observed to see whether they are able to influence the group to find opportunities in a difficult situation.
This step will be relevant to individuals who encounter difficulties and share their ideas about what to do about it with others.
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.