considering competence

I stumbled across this great piece about the stages of competence. Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that it was on the DressageToday website, but the message is relevant across, basically, everything – rather than be frustrated by your perceived incompetence at something new, you should embrace it as part of the learning curve, because knowing that you’re not that great at something is an important stage on the way to being good enough at it that you don’t even have to think about it – unconscious competence.


Take my personal outside work learning challenge – riding side saddle. Over the last six years I’ve gone from how-hard-can-it-be (Unconscious Incompetence) through hanging-on-for-dear-life (Conscious Incompetence) and right-toe-down-shoulder-back-pull-up-your-triangle (Conscious Competence) to finally this year being able to jump small fences and ride in a display team without really thinking about the saddle I’m riding in – Unconscious Competence.

But this applies to pretty much anything you can think of – cooking, driving, coding, focus group moderating, workshop facilitating and so on. If you’re marketing something aimed at cooks, suitcase packers, laptop users or motorbike owners then maybe it’s worth considering what stage they’re at.

One thought on “considering competence

  1. Agree with this – unconscious incompetence is the biggest barrier to learning, and the hardest to break through. So many breakthroughs seem to happen purely by accident – that’s too random to work with for a marketeer, so what can we do to prompt the “aha moment” ?

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