Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Life Cycle of Learning Stages
As we learn - we go through stages of awareness and competence - a type of cycle which keeps repeating itself while we are on a "learning curve".
The concept of the life cycle of growth comprises four levels of learning.
The lowest level, level four, is where we begin our way up through the cycle. This is the stage of unconscious incompetence. At this stage, we are ignorant, but we do not know it. In other words, we do not even know what we do not know.
We are at the third level, conscious incompetence, when we lack of knowledge has been pointed out to us, so we are ignorant, and we know it.
As we move further up the life cycle, by gaining knowledge and experience in a particular area, we attain the level of conscious competence. Here we have progressed to the point where we have the know-how to do whatever it was we previously did not know how to do it.
The top level of the cycle is unconscious competence. It is here we know how to do what we do so well that we do it automatically - we do not need to stop to think about it.
We remain young, vibrant and creative when we are moving up within the cycle; we stagnate when we remain at any one level too long.
So when we have reached the top level - after we developed to the point of unconscious competence - we must take ourselves back down to the first level of the cycle by exploring new areas, exposing ourselves to new opportunities for creativity, learning and growth.
Ideally, we will always be moving from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence, and then renewing the cycle, in all aspect of our lives, personally as well as professionally.
Successful people are always learning. They know they must keep reaching.