Mandatory Units‎ > ‎Unit 301‎ > ‎

2. Understand how to behave in a way that supports effective working

2.1 Explain the purpose and benefits of setting high standards for own work

It is important to set high standards for my work because then it will help me to do the best I can and help me get recognised at work in a positive way.
When high standards are set, it challenges me and helps me to improve and setting high standards also ensures that the work you do is of a good enough standard and fits in with the company's principles.

2.2 Describe ways of setting high standards for own work


Setting high standards involves discussions with my line manager around the tasks that I have been set and have set myself.

This involves agreeing how to manage and improve my own performance and accept plans for own work and its delivery whilst also behaving in a way that encourages effective working.

I also use feedback from my line manager during these discussions to agree ways to improve my own work and put improvements into practice. This in return helps to set high standards for my work.


2.3 Describe ways of dealing with pressure arising from work tasks

I currently use a task list in SharePoint to set goals for what needs to be achieved in the day

I tend to follow these rules when putting my task list together:

  • Know my limits - Be realistic about what I can accomplish in a day.
  • Prioritise my tasks and work to finish them starting with the highest priority (urgent/important).
  • Do my most unpleasant or most difficult task at the beginning of the day when I'm feeling fresh, thereby avoiding the stress of last minute preparation. Because procrastination tends to feed stress.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Emphasize quality in my work, rather than sheer quantity.
  • Schedule my day and my stress as this can reduce the number of stressors I must juggle at any one time.
  • Stagger deadlines for large projects.
  • Add some "breathing" space that allows me time for "recharging" and creative thinking. This means I will also be better prepared when an unanticipated task arrives.
  • Remember to delegate.
  • Review my goals at the end of the day, as this is cathartic and generally helps me sleep better.


Aside from all that I also tend to discuss any difficult tasks that may be causing me stress with either my line manager or my colleagues. Discussing them helps me to see other solutions to a potential problem and in rare cases my colleagues may offer to take some of my tasks on board if they are not too busy or will offer to delegate them out to some of the people within their team which in the past has been a great help.

One other way of dealing with pressure is to use some of the GTD (Get things done) software products freely available form the internet. These productivity suites can help to put some order in how you do things such as task list managers like Remember the milk

Or other 'Getting Things done' Apps such as SimpleGTD

Thinking Rock is a yet another free GTD tool

There are also some applications that you can buy that promise to make your life easier by helping with getting things done such as:



What is GTD?

Getting things done in SharePoint.

This is a screenshot of my tasks list in SharePoint.

It is perfect for managing my on-going tasks as it integrates with MS Outlook and I can set reminders against each task.

Using tasks lists to 'get things done' is a good way to help relieve stress and deal with pressure arising from work tasks

Another more old fashioned way which is tried and tested (and my missus prefers to do things this way) is to simply use a diary and a pen or pencil.

This way you don't have to worry about being able to use it offline. You can take it most places with you, wherever you go.

The only things it can't do is set reminders for you and others. You have to remember to check it regularly which doesn’t suit for me.



Update: 13/07/2011
I've found that currently two of the best GTD apps are Evernote and Springpad which promise to do loads and deliver on many fronts.


2.4 Explain the purpose and benefits of accepting setbacks and dealing with them

Accepting setbacks gives you a chance to learn. When you make a mistake you can learn from that mistake and not make it again.

It's important to understand that setbacks are a part of life.  They can and will happen and its an important part of growth to learn from them by dealing with them. 

Setbacks aren't always your fault but it helps to accept them and deal with them otherwise the task or project that is affected might not be able to continue unless you deal with it.

2.5 Explain the purpose and benefits of being assertive and its meaning in work tasks


Assertiveness is a necessary attribute for an office worker.  It is about self-reliance, and resourcefulness, the abilities that help you to work independently with minimal supervision. This is a valuable, and valued, skill in any employee.

Assertion means not being afraid to ask the necessary questions, to enable you to do your work. It also means that you are resourceful, and take responsibility for knowing where to go and who to ask for information, or for the things that you need to complete any task. If you are assertive, you are not too shy to ask those, who are superior to you, for the answers that you need to complete your task successfully.

2.6 Give examples of work situations where it is necessary to be assertive


The first type of scenario in which it is necessary to be assertive is a situation where someone is requesting something from you.


So for example if a work colleague comes up to me whilst I'm in the middle of a task which is keeping me busy and asks me to help them with something I should explain to them my situation and politely request they ask someone else to help or wait until I've completed my current task.


Another example of a situation where you might need to be assertive is when  you want to get your point across in a team discussion.  It's important to be respectful to others in this situation but you also need to be able to stand your ground. If I'm trying to get my point across I would give others time to finish and then make my point - speaking clearly but not aggressively.


Another good example might be when negotiating, either in a team discussion or in a one to one meeting.

So if I'm asking for a pay rise in my one to one or if I'm trying to get a change implemented to our system (ingenium-i) again I would be mindful of using correct body language and tone of voice so as not to be aggressive but at the same time I would not allow myself to be ignored or dismissed by being too passive.  



2.7 Explain the purpose and benefits of being ready to take on new challenges and adapt to change

All organisations have to change constantly to survive. They may have to change to remain competitive and to continue to attract customers. Or they may change because they have identified more effective ways of working or adopted new types of technology.

Alternatively, they may change because they are struggling to survive.

Being ready means you will avoid being stuck doing the same things which could make your life a lot harder than it needs to be and will also help to ensure you remain employable by keeping with the times.


Employers always value staff who take a positive view to changes at work and do

their best to adjust. They are usually even more delighted to find a member of

their team who actually welcomes new challenges and different ways of working.

Someone who not only suggests new ideas but will help to try to implement

them is usually worth their weight in gold.


2.8 Explain the purpose and benefits of treating others with honesty, respect and consideration

Honesty means you have good principles regarding timekeeping, or how you generally use your time at work for example not emailing your friends etc. This can be seen as stealing time from your employer.

Also things like doing private photocopying, sending personal letters in the company’s mail and ‘borrowing’ a few pens from the stationery cupboard.


Honesty also comes into play if you make a mistake. Do you blame someone

else or keep quiet, rather than own up? Or do you prize honesty so much

that you would bluntly give someone your views whether these were hurtful

or not?

Honesty with other people’s property is straightforward. You are either honest or

dishonest. Honesty about feelings is a greyer area. We all accept that we shouldn’t

tell lies, but that doesn’t mean being tactless or trampling over other people’s

feelings. The skill of diplomacy means converting ‘honest’ remarks so that they

are more acceptable for the recipient.


Respect should be unconditional.

If you show respect for someone it means you acknowledge their right as a human

being to have views different from yours. This is because you don’t know the

reason why they think or act as they do, but you can accept that they have the right to express themselves as they wish.


Consideration means being thoughtful and, on occasion, putting other

people’s needs before your own – even if its inconvenient.

It may mean depriving yourself of something you want or having to adjust your plans to fit in with other people, rather than insisting on having your own way.


If everyone in the business treats everyone else with honesty, respect and consideration the business wins because staff are more productive; the staff win because it is a pleasure to work in a positive and supportive atmosphere.


2.9 Describe types of behaviour at work that show honesty, respect and consideration and those that do not

Types of behaviour

If you are honest, you

If you are honest, you don’t

    • Can be trusted with money and other peoples property
    • Arrive punctually and do the work you are paid to do
    • Admit your mistakes and apologise
    • Admit your feelings and motives
    • Keep secrets you promised not to tell
    • Think that a box of CDs or two notebooks won’t be missed
    • ‘Stretch’ your breaks and lunch hours or spend half the day gossiping or doing personal work
    • Shift the blame or fudge the issue
    • Say one thing and do the opposite
    • Drop hints so that people ‘guess’ what you know

    not to tell

If you respect someone you

if you respect someone you don’t

    • Pay attention when he/she is talking
    • Defer to him/her, temporarily, by putting your own feelings on one side
    • Value his/her views as worthwhile, whether you agree or not
    • Behave appropriately, e.g. exchange ideas, obey an instruction, cooperate, protect or help him/her
    • Ignore, interrupt or talk over him/her, dismiss his/her ideas
    • Discount his/her feelings as unimportant in relation to your own
    • Devalue his/her ideas by only taking heed if it helps you to achieve your own ends
    • Behave inappropriately, eg manipulate, lie, hurt, poke fun at him/her

If you are considerate, you

if you are considerate, you don’t

    • Show respect for others
    • Ask people for their opinions
    • Take other people’s views into account when you
    • Are prepared to make sacrifices or inconvenience
    • Think about other people negatively or disrespectfully
    • Tell people what you think and ignore their views
    • Think you are always right and your own needs are

    are making plans or coming to a decision paramount

    • Insist people always do things your way

    yourself to fit in with other people.

2.10 Explain the purpose of helping and supporting others at work, and the purpose and benefits of doing so


Helping and supporting others at work helps towards group loyalty and kindness.

It is important because it means everyone can work more effectively and productively because they can

rely on each other, all the time. It is also important because it helps to engender team spirit – and the fact that everyone is ‘in it together’ and working to achieve the same thing.


Helping your work colleagues reduces their stress levels and helps to build relationships with them.

It will also gain you kudos and generally give others a good opinion of you.

It ensures that the work gets done and that everyone involved remains relatively stress free