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Something you may be unaware of about ability - Something you should Know!

  Have you ever noticed someone doing what seems a pretty easy task, and thought that's nothing - until you get to do the job? What about a potato sorter? Easy job. How do you get on when you sit there with the task of grading them A, B or C? Not easy now, is it. You've got to learn what these grading terms mean. You start off very slowly and the person sitting next to you is throwing the potatoes into the correct heaps and chatting away while you are figuring out which goes where. The other starts to berate you for being so slow! Nightmare!

At first we have no awareness that we cannot do a task. We think, if we think anything, that it is easy. We are at a stage of unconscious incompetence. We are incompetent, and what is worse, we don't know it. Can you remember before you started to drive? You thought it would be easy didn't you.

After a while we realise we do not know how to do a task. We have made progress. We have reached the stage of conscious inability. We can't do it, but now we know we can't. What's better someone who knows they can't fly the plane, or someone who doesn't know they can't and tries anyway?

The next step is to learn how to do the task. When you do this, you can do it, but only when you keep your mind on it. Get distracted and it goes to pieces. You've progressed to conscious ability. As long as you've got it in mind you can do it.

With repetition, the task becomes automatic and you reach the stage of unconscious ability. You can do it without thinking. You can sort the potatoes and talk about the game. You can drive the car and not even know you have passed through several towns.

There is a stage above this. We'll call it unconscious ability with awareness. You can do the task and think, plan and steer the activity without your thinking distracting you from doing it automatically. For example, you can be part of an important conversation, do the right things and be able to think about what is happening and where the conversation is going without being distracted from applying your communication skills, with ability but without thought.


ΠUnconscious Inability
 Conscious Inability
Ž Conscious Ability
 Unconscious Ability
 Unconscious Ability with Awareness.


When we learn to type, we type a letter at a time. We get faster until we don't seem to make progress. Then all of a sudden we are typing whole words at once and our speed increases. Before we were typing letters without thinking where our fingers were. Now we type whole words without wondering where our fingers are. Before we typed a letter automatically. Now we type the word as a whole without thinking about it. There are stages, therefore, of conscious and unconscious ability.

When we first learn to build rapport, we are wholly thinking about mirroring the other person. This is conscious ability. However, when we wonder how we are doing we forget to mirror! When our mind moves to something else we stop mirroring. Later we can mirror automatically without thought. We have attained unconscious ability. As we develop we learn to do whole tasks automatically so we are freed to think about the whole picture, and still perform our tasks when we are not thinking about them.

How do we do this? We do this by over- learning the tasks.

Make sure you learn and apply this valuable information about the 5 levels so you are aware of what you need to do in any task, and you realise that sometimes progress seems to slow down when we move through these stages.

Are you aware of how easy it is to change when you know how to?

For more information please visit: The Positive Approach