Have you ever wondered why learning a new skill or task doesn’t seem to sink in as quickly as you’d like?  Have you ever given up before you’ve mastered it?  Have you blamed external influences such as workload, distraction, or age?  You’re not alone – and perhaps reminding yourself of this model (which you probably know about but might have forgotten) will keep your focus.

What is the Four Stages of Competence model?

The four stages of competence is a psychological model describing the progression from incompetence to competence in a specific skill.  It’s been credited to a number of people but essentially it’s understood and accepted that there are four stages to progress through when you learn a new skill. 

Understanding the process of learning can really help us to stay motivated, and better navigate the negative mindset blocks.  As a boss in charge of a team, it can really pinpoint the support we give the learner.  As a teacher or coach once we understand where the learner is, it can help us identify their needs and objectives, supporting them through each level.

Level 1 – Unconsciously Unskilled – Ignorance

At this stage, you often don’t even realise you haven’t got the knowledge.  In some instances, this can show itself with misplaced confidence, as there is a lack of awareness that there is anything new to learn.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled – Awareness

Now you appreciate there is a knowledge gap which can feel like a real challenge – it’s often very uncomfortable. In order to progress from this point you need to be motivated by focusing on the
value of the new skill.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled – Learning

Disciplined concentration and effort result in you learning the skill and there is increased competency at this stage. Whilst you can do it, you need a real focus to perform at your best. It doesn’t yet happen automatically.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled – Mastery

Over time the skills become second nature and automatic.  At this stage, you may benefit from teaching others the skill.  Without continued use of the skill, you might find yourself beginning again.

If you’d like to listen to a great podcast this week try this on Mindset https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/e215-the-mindset-doctor-the-secret-man-behind-the/id1291423644?i=1000596006911