This is something that greatly interests me, learning new skills, what are we capable of learning? we all have different abilities, some of us will naturally be better at certain things than others. However no matter what we are naturally good at we can still improve our skills at almost anything.
For many people there is uncertainty about what we are capable of and what skills can actually be taught and learned. These skills range from learning to ride a bike, learning to drive a car or using and understanding computers better. However there are other skills which can be learned which are less well understood and accepted as learn-able skills, for example improving people skills and dealing with and controlling our emotions better.
There is a psychological theory about developing new skills and the development stages that have to progress to achieve competence at that skill, these steps are outlined below.
4 Steps to Learning New Skills
This is the first step and it doesn’t apply to all situations, Unconscious Incompetence is being unaware that you’re not skilled at a particular thing and also being unaware of a problem. This stage is common with people who suffer from under developed social skills or social intelligence, people who suffer with these social issues are often unaware of the problem and they don’t understand the problem. Some people will go into denial rather than admit that they need to improve this skill.
This is being aware that you don’t have the skills necessary to execute a task competently, or maybe it’s an awareness that your life is not going the way you would like it to and that things need to change, however they don’t know how to handle the situation or solve the problem. This is the stage when people tend to seek help.
There can be a very long gap between this step and the previous step depending on what skill you’re attempting to acquire. An example of conscious competence is just passing your driving test, you can drive adequately but you still require much concentration and conscious effort to be competent. The same is also true about developing many other types of skills.
This is mastery of a specific skill, when you achieve unconscious competence that skill becomes automated, your subconscious mind fully understands all of the required elements and it’s so accustomed to performing the skill that it becomes second nature.