What’s Next After Training?

Many has lost confidence in training?

Are you one of them?

When we set out to learn a new skill, it is important to know that there are a number of predictable stages that we will go through before the change behaviour will happen.  One model that explains these clearly is the Conscious Competence Ladder.  The origins of the model are disputed, but many attribute it to Gordon Training International who developed it in the 1970s.

The model identifies 4 clear stages:

  1. Unconsciously incompetent– we don’t know that we are not able to do it.
  2. Consciously incompetent– we know that we are not able to do it.
  3. Consciously competent– we know that we can do it.
  4. Unconsciously competent– we don’t need to think and we can do it.

Learning paths and programs need to be highly coordinated, delivered in a meaningful way, and continued in a reasonable time frame

Level 1 – Unconsciously Incompetent (“AHA!”)

This is the blind spot stage.  Generally something external to us will trigger a shift to the second level. It could be due to a sudden failure due to the inability to perform or a feedback that was brought to our attention.  At this stage, reading from a book or hearing from the media can trigger a realisation in us too. 

Mode of Learning: Books, Media, Characteristic Profiling

Key Factors: Reflection with Heart & Analyse with Brain -> creating AWARENSS

Implications: You will make mistakes or offend others without you knowing and wondering why the world treat you so unfairly.  Even if you attend training, you will operate from selective listening.  Without knowing your current character, you will selective listen to what you agree with and when comes to new knowledge, the ‘buy in’ is minimal.


Level 2 – Conscious Incompetence (“OUCH!”)

This level can feel uncomfortable.  Admitting one’s ignorant or inability take time and LOTS OF COURAGE.  This is a delicate stage and small baby steps to ensure success is important.  At this stage, the engagement of structured training with safe learning environment for making mistake will speed up the change.

Mode of Learning: Training (Online, Classroom)

Key Factors: Ability to Accept & Safe Environment to Change

Implications:  You think you already knows. Occasionally, able to speak and act in the right way but the moment you are under real pressure, you will easily lose control and behave differently.  Others will be confused and can perceived you as ‘wearing mask’ or you are trying to manipulate, hence losing respect and trust from others.


Level 3 – Conscious Competence (“TIRED!”)

At this level, we have acquired the skills and knowledge we need.  It still needs to concentrate when using the new learnings, they haven’t yet become second nature.  All this concentration may seem exhausting and sometimes can be demotivating.  A good trusted coach or trainer is required to continuous drive the change with both encouragement & commitments.

Mode of Learning: Integrated Classroom, Pre/Post Interventions (Pre-Assessment, Characteristics Profiling, Coaching, Project, Presentation)

Key Factors: Encouragement & Commitment

Implications: You will find all reasons to justify why it is hard for you to practice the change behaviour.  ‘Too busy’, ‘no chance to use’ and ‘real life things are different’ are common excuses one will use. 


Level 4 – Unconscious Competence (“WOW”)

As we become more experienced, the activities will become more automatic and will feel more effortless.  We are able to use our new skills effortlessly, and to perform tasks without conscious effort.  This is a level of mastery, the new skill has been integrated and has become a habit – a part of who were are.


What next?

Attending training and continue to grow yourself, is a MUST in order to continuously progress in your career and in your life.   However, if you want to maximise the benefits of training, it is important you attend the right training and follow through with 1 to 1 coaching / small group coaching so that some of the more deeply rooted believe system, wrong perceptions and impact from the past experience can be ‘free up’ and ‘transformed’ to allow you to live a better life and be an effective leader.

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