Four Steps to Mastery
Jun 6, 2010 Learning Methodology 2782 Views
Learning... How do we learn? We first do not know how to do something, so we set out on learning how to do it. This can be mapped into four basic steps. Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Conscious Competence, Unconscious Competence.
The first is you don't know that you don't know.
The second is that you know that you don't know.
The third is you have learned the correct way to do it but it takes conscious effort to do it right.
The last is you can do it without conscious effort.
We all begin in the unconscious phase no mater if we like it or not. Some of us were just fortunate to learn from people that do it right early on, without ever realizing it that certain things we do may not come as easy as it comes to us. But even if you were lucky enough to have mentors that taught you correctly you still had to go through the four basic steps to unconscious competence.
So how does this work. We go through life until we see something we must learn, take algebra for example. You never knew how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide until after you were exposed to it in school. Before that you were unconsciously incompetent, you knew nothing about it or of it. Slowly you were introduced to the basics of mathematics and what it is. The numbers 0-9 and how they make up all the possibilities of numbers. You were taught to add, subtract, multiply, and finally divide.
As you are presented a new concept you do not understand you have transitioned into conscious incompetence, you know that you do not know how to do math, as from our example. The teacher then shows you how to do basic addition and what the numbers mean. You are now in conscious competence.
You are not a master yet but you now know how to apply the correct method as long as you take your time, and apply it consciously. Through repetition you develop a sense of numbers until you can just look at an equation, and the answer comes to you because your unconscious mind has now at its disposal the basics of algebra and it does the correct thing without you doing anything other than looking at the equation.
Finally there are two ways you can reach the last stage, and that is through repetition, or through observing someone do it. Some things are more suited to one method or the other. For example, observing someone who is a master at social situations and studying them carefully, you will learn much quicker in their presence then if you just went out to learn by yourself. You eventually would have to apply what you learn by yourself but your basics are much stronger if you had someone great to learn from.
Once again the basic steps to mastery are, unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence, and we all go through them for everything we do.
You do have to realize one thing, practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. You may just learn to do it wrong unconsciously so watch who you learn from.
If you like this article or want to know more then feel free to contact me. The concept I have discussed in this article I learned through my association with Members of the Global Information Network and now wish to share this information as a means to learn it and incorporate it better into my own life.