Do You Have Mad Learning Skills?

Process of LearningEveryone wants to be good at something. That something could be the skills to play basketball, it could be skills to sell, or even the skills to sing. Whatever that something is, learning any skill is a process.

The Process of learning:

Subconscious Incompetence

This is the stage the first stage in the process of learning. Subconscious Incompetence means that you are NOT consciously ware of what skill you lack. Then as you come across situations you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll start to ponder about it.  This leads us to the next stage, Conscious Incompetence.

You are not aware you don’t know how to drive a car.

Conscious Incompetence

Being consciously incompetent means that you are aware that you lack a particular skill.  At this stage, you begin to realize that learning something new will enable you to be more effective and productive.  This is the stage where you make the commitment for “practice makes perfect”, so you create goals.

Now that you’ve come across a situation where you need to drive a car, you start practicing.

Conscious Competence

During the stage of Conscious Competence, the person is now performing the skill persistently.  Even though you are able to perform the skill, you must still put full concentration and focus in using your skill right.

You are now able to drive a car, but need to focus on when to brake, your turn signals, adjusing the mirror, etc.

Subconscious Competence

This is the final stage in the process of learning where one is able to perform the task without thinking.  The skill becomes automatic and operates as if it were second nature. Now you’re able to do multi-tasking action by doing that skill and others at the same time.

Now you’re able to drive a car with ease. You stop paying attention to all the basics of driving. Now your able to talk on the cell phone, change gears, and eat while driving 😉 .

These are the stages in which we learn. An addition to this, there is also a way we re-learn something.  For example, if you want to change the way you shoot the ball, you’ll need to go back to the conscious incompetence stage.

Now that your familiar at our learning process, what is a skill your looking to master, and which stage are you at right now?

13 thoughts on “Do You Have Mad Learning Skills?

  1. Chuck Stanley

    Does this happen on anything but motor skills (e.g. typing)? I would think it does – for example your persuasion techniques. However I can’t think of anything for me personally that doesn’t involve motor skills.

  2. Josh

    In my research you have these categories mixed up. Unconscious incompetence should come before unconscious competence; if you lack conscious competence at a skill that does not necessarily mean you lack unconscious competence at that skill. They are not hard categories either; they exist on threshold scales of support and resistance.

  3. Josh

    Also at the level of unconscious competence you will have lateral transfer of that state/skill to other domains. It pays to think what this lateral transfer will be like instead of “accidentally” discovering it after the fact!

  4. Article Spinning

    I know a lot about the power of the subconscious when someone masters how to use it. There are many times I had no answer to a particular problem or situation. I hand it over to my subconscious and when I awake, the answers are usually presented. So, yes, you are right, AJ, about subconscious competence.

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  6. Jacque

    Hi AJ,
    If you are the gentleman I met sometime ago in NY where I work (Wall Street area) I would like to thank you for giving me daily food for my business soul. While everyone else is in doom and gloom mood, I’m still smiling because daily you inspire. Thank you, thank you, thank you and much success in all your endeavors.



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