How to Assess Growth Using The Four Stages of Knowledge


Knowing when you’re ready to take on more or give more to an employee can sometimes be a gray area. If you analyze performance through the lens of Kevin Trudeau‘s four stages of knowledge, you can have a more objective perspective without the use of data.

  1. Unconscious incompetence

This first stage of learning is where you don’t know what you don’t know. A persons’ sense of the world around him extends so far, and he can’t see beyond it. This stage only lasts until he discovers a new concept and becomes at least aware of it.

  1. Conscious Incompetence

When you uncover a new idea, this next stage occurs. Conscious incompetence is when you know that you don’t know. You are aware of something, but do not understand it. For instance, if you have just learned about a pricing model, but don’t recognize it’s effectiveness or how to implement it, you are in the state of conscious incompetence. People in this stage may be hiring a professional like Eyal Gutentag to accelerate growth.

  1. Conscious Competence

When you are learning and applying a concept or strategy, you are consciously competent. You have some experience and can perform at intermediate and high levels. However, you still have to think about what you are doing when you do it.

  1. Unconscious Competence

This final stage is where you can perform on autopilot. Unconscious competence means that you have mastered your craft to an expert level. To people in lower levels of learning, it may look like you are performing magic because your success comes with such ease. Most of us have experienced this in some form or another. Have you ever done something around the house like take a shower or make your bed, only to not remember having done it? These are examples of unconscious competence.

When you know where you and your employees are in the four stages of knowledge, you can take steps toward growth.

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