Moving from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Competence
Based on The Conscious Competence Learning Model, Change at an Organizational and Individual level starts at a point where we are unaware of how bad our current state is and therefore operate at an unconscious incompetence level. In this state, you may be in one of two positions;
Checklist for the Unconscious Incompetence stage;
The transition from being Unconsciously Incompetent to being consciously incompetent begins with the realization and acceptance that you are not as great as you perceived yourself to be and that there is room for improvement. This transition can be shocking and sudden. Most of the time it is caused by a new regulation that clearly stipulates the standard way of operating or a performance vs. strategic objectives evaluation. It is at this stage that organizations/individuals seek for the help of a Consultant or Coach. While this is a step in the right direction, it is possible to exist in this state for a long time, depending on factors such as your determination to learn and the real extent to which you accept your incompetence.
Checklist for the Conscious Incompetence stage;
Becoming consciously competent often takes a while, as you steadily learn about the new area, either through experience or more formal learning. This process can go in fits and starts as you learn, forget, plateau and start anew.
The more complex the new area and the less talent you have for it, the longer this will take. The good news is that many people have achieved remarkable feats of learning through sheer persistence.
Checklist for the Conscious Competence stage;
Eventually you reach a point where you no longer have to think about what you are doing, and are competent without the significant effort that characterizes the state of conscious competence. At this stage you become unconsciously competent;
The new way of operating becomes so practiced that it enters the unconscious parts of the brain – it becomes ‘second nature’. This arguably gives rise to the need for long-standing unconscious competence to be checked periodically against new standards.