Updated: Mar 24
The learning bridge is a model that explains how individuals move from a state of unconscious incompetence to conscious competence. It is a crucial tool for coaches and trainers to help their clients understand their own learning journey and how to progress through each stage.
The first stage - unconscious incompetence
At this stage, your client is not even aware that they lack a particular skill or knowledge. They may be completely unaware that there is something they don't know or understand. For example, a new employee may not realize that they lack knowledge of company policies and procedures.
The second stage - conscious incompetence
At this stage, your client has become aware of their lack of knowledge or skill in a particular area. This can be a challenging stage for them as they may feel frustrated or discouraged. However, it is an important step in the learning process as it helps them to identify the specific areas they need to work on. For example, a new employee who has just discovered their lack of knowledge of company policies and procedures may feel overwhelmed at first, but can now focus on learning what they need to know.
The third stage - conscious competence
At this stage, your client has acquired the knowledge or skill they were lacking, but they still need to consciously think about it to use it effectively. They may still make mistakes or need to take extra time to complete tasks. However, with practice, they can begin to perform the skill more easily and efficiently. For example, a new employee who has learned company policies and procedures may still need to refer to the employee handbook occasionally, but they are able to perform their job duties more confidently and accurately.
The final stage - unconscious competence
At this stage, your client has mastered the skill or knowledge they were lacking to the point where it has become second nature. They no longer need to consciously think about it or actively practice it. For example, a seasoned employee who has been with the company for years may have internalized company policies and procedures to the point where they can perform their job duties effortlessly.
As a coach/trainer, it's important to help clients understand the learning bridge so that they can identify where they are in the process and set appropriate goals for themselves. Here are some tips for you to help your client progress through the learning bridge:
Create a safe and supportive learning environment. Your clients may feel vulnerable or exposed when they realize they lack a particular skill or knowledge. As a change agent, it's important to create a non-judgmental and supportive learning environment that encourages your client to take risks and ask questions.
Break down complex skills or knowledge into smaller, more manageable parts. Your client may feel overwhelmed if they try to tackle a complex skill or area of knowledge all at once. By breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts, your client can focus on one step at a time and build their confidence as they progress.
Provide opportunities for practice and feedback. Your client needs an opportunity to practice their new skills or knowledge and receive feedback on their progress. This can be done through role-playing, simulations, or real-life scenarios.
Encourage reflection and self-assessment. Your client should be encouraged to reflect on their progress and assess their own learning. This can be done through self-assessment tools, peer feedback, or reflective journaling.
Celebrate successes and milestones. It is important to celebrate successes and milestones along the way. This can help your client to stay motivated and engaged in the learning process.
In conclusion, the learning bridge is a powerful tool for coaches and trainers to help their clients progress from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence. By understanding the learning bridge and following these tips, you can create a more effective and engaging learning experience for your clients.
All the best,
The Personality Coding Team