Sliding between conscious and unconscious competence.

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Unconscious incompetence: not knowing what you don't know.

Example: I want to be a teacher. I went to school/college/university so I've experienced it.

Conscious incompetence: knowing what you don't know.

Example: I'm a trainee teacher. What is pedagogy? How can I scaffold learning? Why won't that student pay attention to me?

Conscious competence: knowing what you know.

Example: I'm three years into the teaching profession. I can plan effective lessons. I discuss problems with my peers and generate solutions. I have strategies to deal with poor behaviour for learning in my students.

Unconscious competence: not knowing what you know.

Example: A highly experienced teacher. We moved on from that activity because I gauged the students to be ready for it. That student needed my intervention because his learning indicated issues were arising. The next part needs careful exploration.

Is the highly experienced teacher the best mentor for the trainee? If they are operating at the level of unconscious competence their performance in the classroom may be exemplary but can a trainee develop without reflection?

In mentoring, coaching and self development more generally there is a need to slip between conscious and unconscious competence by actively engaging in reflection.

Seven questions to encourage reflection in yourself or others:

1. Where is this going and where will it lead?

2. What does your heart tell you?

3. What's going on under the surface?

4. What's behind that?

5. Why did that happen in that way?

6. How did your actions change that situation?

7. Where was the turning point in that event?

Reflection is an essential component of professional development. With Trust Me Coaching reflection is built into every coaching cycle. Try 30 days free coaching now.

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