Consciously Competent Learning Ladder


The Consciously Competent Learning Ladder states that we learn in “stages”. When learning any new skill, technique or behavior you must advance from Level One to Level Six. Practicing the new skill and applying the learning is strongly recommended to reach Level Six. How successful is your present “learning system” in getting you to the highest level of success?

Level One: Unconsciously Incompetent – “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

Level Two: Consciously Incompetent – You are beginning to learn a new skill, and you become “conscious” of all that has to be learned.

Level Three: Consciously Competent – Applying the new skill, you know you can do it but may lack confidence. Perhaps you carry a “cheat sheet” with you!

Level Four: Unconsciously Competent – You perform the skill without even thinking about it. Most likely, it has become a habit.

Level Five: Confident – You now have grown with the skill, to the degree you believe in your competence to the degree you can transfer the skill (and your belief) to others.

Level Six: Commitment – This is the Level we desire to reach. Confident, competent and committed to the organization’s goals.

Exercise: Define your present “skill level” for a particular task.
For example, if you give sales presentations, what is your present level of competency? If you have to give a “surprise” presentation, are you at Level Four: Unconsciously Competent?