The 4 Stages of Learning

What does this have to do with relationships?

Okay…who can drive a car?? Right! …most of you.

Well…who can drive a car, drink coffee, mentally plan your day and talk on the phone all at the same time? Well…even though we are not supposed to, we can…right?

Let’s go back to your childhood to before you could drive? At this stage, you probably have no idea of the value of learning to drive a car (since you have parents to take you everywhere). This is called unconscious incompetence. You are not aware of what you do not know. Fair enough!

Now…fast forward a few years and you are 16 or 17 and want your independence, so now you see the value of learning to drive. You don’t want mum and dad hanging around while trying to impress the opposite sex so you are motivated to learn how to drive and get yourself mobile. You have to concentrate really hard and drive painstakingly slowly. Whoever is teaching you is a nervous wreck in the car with you. You probably even make quite a few mistakes and even have an accident. You then realise that it was not that easy and that practice is necessary. This is the stage of conscious incompetence. You now are aware of what you don’t know.

After a few months of practice you feel more confident and you are much better at driving. Your parents are not as freaked out as much now. However, you have to concentrate and still make a few mistakes. It still takes effort. This is the stage of conscious competence. You have the skill but you need to concentrate while doing it.

After a few years you reach the stage when you can multitask while driving as it has become second nature and now you don’t have to even think about it. Have you ever had the experience where you have been thinking about something while driving and at the end of the trip think to yourself ‘I don’t remember the drive here’? Well this is the stage of unconscious competence. You now have the skill and you don’t have to think about it while doing it.

So…you are asking ‘How does this apply to relationships?’

Like any skill, having great relationships, in particular the one with your significant other, takes practice. You must go through the 4 stages until you get to the blissful unconscious competence where everything seems to ‘flow’ effortlessly.

I recently visited my brother and his new girlfriend in Queensland. As with any new relationship there is a maze of issues with which to deal. My brother’s girlfriend knows about the Love Languages and asked my brother to do the online test to see what his love language is in order to improve communication between them. His response was ‘How will that help me?’ Well as you can guess, he is at the stage of unconscious incompetence. Hopefully for the success of his new relationship, he will find out more and work through the 4 stages of learning.

Would you like to find out more on how to fast track your way to unconscious competence in your relationship?

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