Life Success Begins By Understanding Where You Are
A recent report released by Education Insights indicated that 69% of the parents surveyed believe their children will be prepared for college. Additionally, 61% of the parents believe that their soon to be high school graduates have all the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace. Unfortunately, research from numerous organizations indicate that these parents are clueless about where they children are when it comes to life’s success.
This data confirms a model that I use with my coaching clients and when delivering keynotes – The Law of Process as identified by John Maxwell. This simple model helps to explain why some problems continue unsolved and even unnoticed.
To understand this model, please take a blank piece of paper and draw a fairly large box. Then draw a line horizontally equally dividing the top half from the bottom half. Next draw a line vertically, equally splitting the right side from the left side.
Then take the following 4 actions:
In the upper left hand box, place the number 1 and mark it Unconscious Incompetence.
In the lower left hand box, place the number 2 and mark it Conscious Incompetence.
In the lower right hand box, place the number 3 and mark it Conscious Competence
In the upper right hand box, place the number 4 and mark it Unconscious Competence
Please follow me as we walk through this model for understanding life and why some things never change.
Level 1 – Unconscious Incompetence
Unconscious Incompetence is I don’t know what I don’t know and hence I act like I know everything. Teenagers exemplify this stage. Within this stage, individuals are very happy campers. Remember the old adage: ignorance is bliss? Those previously identified surveyed parents (61% and 69%) don’t know that their children are not prepared upon graduation from high school for the work force less alone college. Many of these parents will suffer by paying thousands of dollars in additional tuition, books and room and board because they believe that their children are prepared for college success. HINT: College administrators love the parents who are in this stage because it means millions of dollars for them.
Level 2 - Conscious Incompetence
By crossing the Bridge of Discovery, I am in level 2 of Conscious Incompetence or I now know what I don’t know. Now I am quite miserable because I realize there is so much more to know. However, I am ahead of those still dreaming the good life in Level 1.
Level 3 - Conscious Competence
Using the Bridge of Learning, I cross over into Level 3 Conscious Competence or I now know what I know. My happiness has increased somewhat, but what I have learned is not second nature to me and my self-confidence is beginning to increase.
Level 4 - Unconscious Competence
Through the Bridge of Mastery or what some call the Bridge of Repetition, I enter into Level 4, Unconscious Competence, or I now know what I know without thinking. Here I am truly happy. What I have learned is second nature, unconscious, almost effortless. I can quickly answer 10x10, how to spell everyday common words, what route to take to work. All of this comes almost without thinking – unconsciously. Yet, if I become complacent or lazy with my knowledge by not using it, I will cross the one way bridge of Complacency and return to Level 1 – Unconscious Incompetence. Here, I will have to repeat the entire process over again. HINT: Learning a foreign language in high school or college and not using it is an example of complency.
By understanding where you are as an individual, small business owner, entrepreneur, executive or even as a parent within this model, you can begin develop a plan for reaching that next level of success or excellence.