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4 stages of learning : understand this to grow yourself and your team

Have you ever tried to do something new and challenging in your business, but lost motivation almost immediately? This mindset happens to almost everyone and it is important to consciously think about the learning process.

In this episode, I discuss the four stages of learning and how they significantly impact upon growing your business or employing new staff. I talk about each stage and how they can impact on your motivation level to succeed.

These four stages are:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence - you don't realise how unskilled you are at a task

  2. Conscious Incompetence - you know just enough to realise that you know very little

  3. Conscious Competence - you know how to do the task, but you have to be thinking and cross checking everything

  4. Unconscious Competence - you have reached mastery level and the task flow without conscious effort

Remember, whenever you are learning a new skill, you will be a beginner and may not be ‘Unconsciously Competent’ immediately. By working through and understanding each stage in the learning cycle you will become a successful leader of yourself AND your team.

Topics We Covered:

[0:50]: Embrace being a beginner in your business. It is false idea to believe that you need to know everything from the moment you start. Do not get discouraged!

[1:09]: You will become a beginner of what is next for you in your business. When you grow your business, you will be starting and journeying through new and exciting things which result in you becoming a beginner.

[1:38]: The desire to be amazing straight away can result in you feeling overwhelmed. You need to engage your rookie mindset!

[2:30]: There are two important reasons behind learning the 4 stages of learning. #1 You will understand where you are currently sitting and can be mindful of your thoughts and actions. #2 You can support any new team members in your business as they learn something new.

[2:52]: Stage 1 of the learning cycle: ‘Unconsciously Incompetent’. The learner has no idea what they do not know. You do not know how incompetent you are in this stage.

[3:33]: As a leader you will need to be wary of this stage as confidence is high, but skill level is very low.

[3:51]: I explained this stage through the example about learning how to drive a car.

[4:40]: Stage 2 of the learning cycle: ‘Consciously Incompetent’. This is one of the toughest stages. You are aware of how hard the task is and how unskilled you are at doing it. Motivation will plummet and you will feel very unskilled. Many people will give up at this stage – do not let it be you!

[6:00]: I further explain this stage by expanding the example of learning how to drive a car.

[7:20]: Stage 3 of the learning cycle: ‘Consciously Competent’. You still need to think hard about the task, but you are becoming competent and making less mistakes. You have a moderate level of motivation because you know that you can do the task, but your skill may be wavering.

[8:14]: I further explain this stage by expanding the example of learning how to drive a car.

[9:10]: Stage 4 of the learning cycle: ‘Unconsciously Competent’. This is the stage where you can do your tasks well without giving them much thought. Your motivation is high, and your skill level is high.

[9:40]: These stages show how important it is to understand that there are three stages to get through in the learning cycle before you are at the level of being ‘Consciously Competent’.

[9:55]: I further explained this stage the example involving learning how to drive a car.

[10:52]: Remember, it is OK not to be great out of the gate! Give yourself time to a beginner and to embrace each phase of the learning cycles in growing your business.

Links and Resources

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About your host, Kristy

Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.


I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum. 

As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.


Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!

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