Unconscious Incompetence to Unconscious Competence

Yesterday marked the achievement of a family milestone as our youngest son passed his driving test. Apart from the shock of hearing how much extra the insurance would cost, and the realisation that when he is out in the evening I won’t sleep until I hear the car arrive safely back on the drive, it also made me think about the amazing learning journey he has been on over the past 4 months.

Many of you will be familiar with the “Stages of Competence’ model (below) and Charlie has certainly worked his way through this. From assuming driving would come naturally and was easy (after all, if his Mum could do it…..…) to his reaction at the end of his first driving lesson – ‘ how do you expect me to do all these things AT THE SAME TIME!’ – to slowly, with practice and effort, building his confidence and competence and finally passing his test first time.

It is a great reminder of how if we want, or need, to develop a new skill, such as coaching, we need to prepared to unlearn old habits, be open to new ideas and, perhaps most importantly be willing to feel vulnerable and uncertain. Many participants on our Post-graduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring programme admit to feeling ‘they are going backwards’ after the first workshop. They thought they were able to coach but quickly realise coaching is more complex, more demanding, or just more difficult than they thought. We remind them of the stages of competence model and reassure them that through hard work and focus they will certainly reach the conscious competence stage and use that as a platform to work towards the ‘unconscious competence’ stage.

Why not challenge yourself to learn something new and think about joining our next post-graduate certificate programme? Please do get in touch via the website if you would like to have a chat about the programme and whether it would be right for you.