To achieve Step 9, individuals will show that they can adapt their plans in response to challenging situations to keep going.
In the two previous steps, the focus was on how to identify opportunities in difficult situations – first as an individual, and then in the context of working with others. This step builds on these by introducing the need for action as a result of this analysis.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
If you find yourself in a difficult situation when you are learning it is a good idea to think about why. Ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation. You may need to change your plan or do something in a different way. For example, a student who is finding it difficult to remember new key vocabulary for a particular subject could create flashcards of the new words and their definitions and place them around their home so they see them more, rather than just have them in a notebook or folder. They might also make sure they arrive a little early for a class so that they can speak to their teacher, tutor or lecturer to let them know they are finding something difficult and ask for any further ideas to help the new learning stick with them. There is always something you can do to help yourself and make the situation better.
Many businesses and organisations regularly seek to improve the way they work. They may wish to improve their products and communications with colleagues and customers, or they may wish to stay up to date with sector trends, seeking to be more efficient and effective. Adapting plans can happen often in a workplace. As an employee or with colleagues, you may do a SWOT analysis to ensure there is a full understanding of the situation before choosing how to adapt or change the plan. It is important to have a good understanding of the situation as well as what is important and beneficial to the business. You should not lose sight of what is trying to be achieved when adapting plans and making changes.
Looking for opportunities in difficult situations will enable you to feel more positive in challenging times. Changing plans does not have to be a negative. For example, you may be unable to go on holiday to a certain destination which you had been looking forward to for some time. However, you may choose a new destination and have a very memorable trip and learn new things. Whenever life seems to throw an obstacle in your way, if you can look for the positives, you will feel better about the situation. Not only will your own emotional and mental health benefit, but also that of those around you.
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 the classroom setting, and also applied to learners’ own efforts – for example, when working on a project or preparing for examinations or similar. It can also be used as a tool to support analysis of difficult situations that learners might encounter when studying other subjects and they should be encouraged to think of ways that the plans of the protagonists could be adapted to respond to a difficult situation.
This step can be assessed through a reflection if learners are applying their skills to a particular project. The reflection could be discursive, or it could be a written reflection from learners themselves.
Alternatively, learners could complete an analysis of a situation from their studies and use this to propose how plans of the protagonist should adapt in response to that situation.
This step will be relevant to individuals who work through difficult situations and are in a role that involves planning.
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 discussion 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.