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Why do I need to be good at solving problems?

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Understand a number of techniques for solving problems so that impossible to solve problems are now easy to navigate your way around.

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In this lecture you’ll understand the definition of problem solving as a key employability skill.

We’ll discuss different workplace roles and why they need to be good at solving problems and consider good practice and “what good looks like” in the workplace.

You’ll see an external video from 2 US social media influencers which is used to back-up key learnings.

You’ll think about some top tips for success within the skill and have some questions to consider about yourself; this self-reflection is very important because you’ll then download, save and complete your own “Record of Achievement and Learning Log” (optional).

Finally, a recap on key learnings.

The BOOST summary of problem solving PDF is a 1 page summary of the module for you to receive and save (see example below).

The learning objectives are to:

1. Understand the definitions of problem solving as a key soft/employability skill.

2. Explore each soft/employability skill in detail, answering “what does good look like?”

3. Consider what it all means for you and what you might want to do differently in future

Using our expertise to BOOST you!

BOOST delivered live online training during Summer 2020; when polled both before and after the training sessions with the question “rate your understanding of the trained skill and why it’s important in education and work places”, the results were stunning. Before the training, 37% said “I know a lot about this skill”, which rose dramatically to 93% after the training!

Why is all this important?

We know from talking to Industry Placement Leaders, 6th Form Directors, Careers Leaders and Recruiters that the development of these soft/employability skills make you more employable and better prepared for apprenticeships, the work place or further education. Today’s employers seek more than just academic qualifications with more importance being placed on soft/employability skills.

The Founder of BOOST (Richard Fawdry) worked at Director level in head office roles and in a number of retail business for over 25 years. Richard really understands the requirements of a balanced set of soft/employability and technical skills, as well as what makes an individual employable to a recruiter or for an apprenticeship. Significantly though, Richard also remembers feeling ill-equipped in his teenage years and early-20’s as he hadn’t yet learnt the employability skills required to succeed in the workplace. Some of the learning undoubtedly comes naturally with experiences and age, but much of the awareness and initial actions can be learnt. Richard has written and delivers this course; you will be learning from someone who has operated at Director level.

The development of soft/employability skills also provides you with a different balance and it’s arguable that you are then more able to create coping strategies when dealing with the stress and pressures of key exams and the work environment, leading to improved well-being and mental health. This is so important in itself!

Why are soft/employability skills so important?

Academic studying allows you to develop hard skills, the specific technical skills you need to do your job effectively. While these are the achievements you’ll list on your CV, today’s employers seek more than this with more importance being placed on soft/employability skills – personal attributes that enable you to interact well with other people.

The modern workplace is interpersonal and the future workplace will rely on soft/employability skills. Skills such as being well organised, becoming more self-motivated and positive, being good at solving problems, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft/employability skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment and will contribute towards a business becoming more profitable.

These skills are closely linked with a person’s character. It takes a conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development to improve your soft skills. Are you ready?

Technical skills are limited without a blend of soft/employability skills!

Technical skills may look impressive on your CV, but the soft/employability skills are what will set you apart from the many candidates who have similar expertise to you. As you start to enter your career phase and are employed by a business, either part-time or full-time, you will no doubt receive soft/employability skills training as well as technical skills training that the role requires. These are important paths to follow once employed, but you need to win the race to get the offer in the 1st place. In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective. Here’s some examples:

• A salesperson with an unrivaled knowledge of their product and market will have little success if they don’t have the interpersonal skills needed to close deals and retain clients.

• A business manager needs to be able to listen to employees, have good speaking skills, and be able to think creatively.

• A doctor must undoubtedly have the right level of qualifications, but all of this must be balanced with a host of other skills in order to be effective. Doctors are often under substantial pressure and need the ability to solve problems and make effective decisions, which in-itself requires leadership and strong management skills. A doctor cannot “operate” without great communication skills, compassion and a good bedside manner!

• A builder will probably require a balance of physical and soft/employability skills. Undoubtedly, strength and stamina combined with building, architectural and mechanical knowledge, as well as maths, written and oral communication are all very important.


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