4 Stages of Learning a Skill
Newly hired salespeople must develop their skills in order to be effective. The following information will show how we learn and more importantly demonstrate the level at which you may expect them to operate.
1. UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
At this stage of learning people are not aware of the knowledge required. They have no idea of it's relevance. They don't know they have a deficiency or might deny that the deficiency exists. They must become aware of the area of incompetence before they can begin to learn.
You must demonstrate what you want them to learn and show the benefit that it will bring to the person’s ability to do the job.
2. CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE
People are now aware of the existence and relevance of a desired skill. By knowing this they are also now aware that the deficiency exists and that learning a new one or improving a previous one will improve their effectiveness. There must be a way to measure the extent of not only the deficiency but what is required to become competent.
You must help them make a commitment to learn and practice and be able to monitor their progress.
3. CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
Salespeople are at this stage when they can perform “at will”. They still need to concentrate and think in order to do it because it is not yet second nature. The skill can be demonstrated but at this point it is unlikely they will be able to teach it to another.
Practice and repetition are the only way to move from this stage to the next.
4. UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
The technique has become second nature and can be performed while doing another activity. For example, driving and listening to the occupants of the car at the same time. It becomes an instinctual activity and while not easily explained to another person it can be taught by observation.
Be sure to remind the student that unconscious competence needs to be checked periodically against standards of performance. Complacency and the lack of continual growth is the beginning of a downturn in performance.
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