RAB Research Archive

The Four Levels of Learning



It was a 14-hour road trip (each way) to take my son Carver back to college. Lots of thinking, planning and great father-son memories made on that drive. He’s a junior this year, and is much more confident in his learning, the layout of the campus and how the whole educational process works. Meaning, he’s figured out how to work the system. (COVID-19 not included – nobody knows how this is going to play out.)

Whether formalized schooling or continuing education as a marketing professional, learning can be both fun and frightening. Noel Burch, co-author with Thomas Gordon of the Teacher Effectiveness Trainingbook, identifies four levels of learning we all go through:

1. Unconscious Incompetence – This is when you are brand-new to your selling career, you’re exited to be in the media business, and you don’t know what you don’t know.

2. Conscious Incompetence – This is the scary phase. You start to realize all the things you don’t know about the job you’re in. For many, this is the time they bail and try something new because discovering what they don’t know is overwhelming.

3. Conscious Competence – This is the phase where you take a deep breath, recognize that all the hours of learning and experience have paid off. You know what you know and you’re able to successfully and consistently excel at your job.

4. Unconscious Competence – After three to five years, you start forgetting what you know, and you just do it. The fundamentals that you learned are second nature – habits, if you will. You don’t even think about them anymore because you’re so good at what you do. You also tend to cut corners because you can.

WARNING – this is when something major happens. Your best account cancels, a global pandemic happens, or a stock market crash – something that throws you into a storm. Here’s where it gets tricky. Because you’ve forgotten what you know and you are just acting on instinct, you have to quickly find a way to remember what you knew – the steps you took that made you so successful in the first place – so that you can repeat those steps now because the storm has thrown you back to the beginning.

Ongoing training/education is the only way to help you minimize the effect of storms. It’s not a question of if a storm will happen, it’s a question of when and how often. Just like in a real storm, tornado, hurricane, snowstorm, etc., preparedness in advance will determine how well you weather the storm.

I think we can all agree that we are in the middle of a pretty big storm right now. RAB has developed a highly interactive, one day, Sales Essentials workshop to help you prepare and get through this storm. If you’re a new seller, this one-day sales workshop will give you the tools you need to begin a successful career. If you’re a veteran seller, this one-day workshop will help you remember all the things that made you successful in the first place.

We have limited seats available. Because of the interactive nature of this workshop, you will need a computer with a working camera and microphone. You will be participating auditorily and visually. This is because people learn best and retain more when they are involved in the process. Let’s learn with and from each other.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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