Typically, non-performers have little interest in learning without some external stimulation. Understanding how learning takes place progressively in four stages could be very useful to anyone in a leadership position. Armed with this knowledge you can put on your motivator hat and light a fire under some of your least productive followers.
Stage 1 – Unconscious Incompetence
They are unaware of the possibility that they may be making costly mistakes or turning out poor quality work. Their unacceptable performance is obvious to others, but not to them. The potential for incompetency is high because they are not motivated to learn new skills.
Stage 2 – Conscious Incompetence
Suddenly they become aware that their performance is having a negative effect on production. They are acutely, perhaps even painfully, mindful of their shortcomings. Now is a good time to improve their skills because their motivation to learn is high and they are ready.
Stage 3 – Conscious Competence
They are in a comfort zone pleased with their newfound knowledge. They have overcome adversity and improved their performance. They proudly seek opportunities to demonstrate their recently acquired skills. Their motivation to learn has been satisfied.
Stage 4 – Unconscious Competence
They perform their job with little thought being given to preparing for new challenges. Unaware of their potential shortcomings, they are only a short step away from losing their competitive edge. Satisfied with the status quo, they have no motivation to learn.