Monday, September 14, 2009

Four Stages of Learning and Implementation

The following is a wonderfully crisp capture of four stages of learning and implementation:

1. Unconsciously Incompetent
2. Consciously Incompetent
3. Consciously Competent
4. Unconsciously Competent

The first stage is typical for people who have not had skills or knowledge training, and who are often unaware of their weaknesses and situation.

The second stage takes place after a skills development or training session, with the participants recognizing that they have new skills and information to put into practice. They are now aware of their short-comings.

As participants consciously put their new learnings into practice, they move to the third stage – they are working hard to apply what they have learned.

Stage four is where participants are now practicing the new methods and concepts as part of their day-to-day operations, without having to devote additional thought to their application – the ideas are now imbedded and applied unconsciously.

I’d suggest that there is (at least) one additional stage to consider – any suggestions as to what it might be?

1 comment:

Steven Levy said...

Perhaps there are three end stages, mutually exclusive:

a) Unconsciously competent, of course.

b) Carelessly competent -- so inured to the process that accompanies their skill that they no longer see changes in their environment. Most drivers, for example, eventually wind up here. The competence level is high, but the alertness/reaction level is low. It's mental as well as physical tasks; I know many attorneys and other knowledge workers in this state.

c) Hyperconsiously competent -- coaches, trainers, instructors. Consider why so many (minor league) catchers become effective major-league managers. They have had to study the entire game, played out in front of them, to get at least decent at what they do, and thus they know the details of setting up pitches, positioning fielders, and so on better than any other players -- including the star catchers to whom this comes so easily they never have to think about how they do what they do.