In the 1940s Abraham Maslow developed a theory of "The Four Stages of Learning" which was progressive in nature meaning that one had to complete the first step before they could move to the next step. The US Gordon Training International organization has taken this theory to another level by defining and promoting the learning competence theory.
This model has four stages as follows:
Unconscious Incompetence means that you don't know what you don't know.
When people don't know how to do something but don't realize that they are missing this, they do not have a need or desire to do anything about it.
In this stage, you might not understand or know how to do something and know that you are missing this in your life but are not prepared to do anything about it.
The third step in this theory is when you understand or know how to do something but need a lot of concentration or conscious effort in order to perform.individual understands or knows how to do something.
In the final stage, you have become so good at something that you can do it with little effort or concentration. Although you can do the task, however, you might not be able to teach it to other people.
Let's use driving as an example. A child who grows up in a rural or disadvantaged area might not know that it is possible to drive a vehicle. When s/he sees someone drive infront of them, however, they reach a stage two conscious incompetence because they now know it is possible but do not know how to drive the vehicle themselves.
In stage three the child may reach a point where they understand how to drive and be able to drive in a very awkward manner.
Finally, with practice, the individual will be able to drive without putting much thought or conscious effort.
Each of us has areas in our lives where we have had to move through the different stages before we could do things with ease.
thefreedictionary.com defines ignorance as: the condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
You see, there are things in life that can be learned through the four stages that will hep us to operate and grow our businesses but we need to begin making positive changes by confronting ignorance. That means that we have to first become aware of what we don't know and then begin the journey through the stages until we reach unconscious competence.