When we all first started our careers in the automotive business, we began to learn the basics of our jobs.
We all learned different skills such as, greetings, fact finding, product knowledge, the steps to a sale, word tracks, phone skills, prospecting and networking skills, closing skills, follow up skills and so on.
We all got better by practicing, drilling and rehearsing each and every day, without fail and no exceptions! This is what makes us the professionals that we are today.
When someone new comes into our business, I always try and break down the “4 steps of learning” to help them better understand what is ahead of them. By understanding HOW a human being learns a new skill, a person that is trying to understand all of the ingredients it takes to be proficient in their new job, can break it down a bit easier.
The traditional view is that learning a skill is divided into four stages. The four stages are;
First there is unconscious incompetence. Not only do you not know how to do something, but you don’t know you don’t know. Never having driven a car for example, you have no idea what it is like. So you start to learn. You very soon discover your limitations. You have some lessons and consciously attend to all the instruments, steer, coordinate the clutch, and watch the road. It demands all your attention, you are not yet competent, and you keep on the back streets.
Next is the stage of conscious incompetence when you grind the gears, over-steer and give cyclist heart attacks. Although this stage is uncomfortable, (especially for cyclist), it is the stage when you learn the most.
This leads you to the stage of conscious competence. You can drive the car, but it takes all your concentration. You have learned the skill, but have not yet mastered it.
Lastly, and the goal of the endeavor, is unconscious competence. All of those little patterns that you learned so painstakingly blend together into one smooth unit of behavior. Then you can listen to the radio, enjoy the scenery and hold a conversation at the same time as driving. Your conscious mind sets the outcome and leaves it to your unconscious mind to carry it out.
These are the 4 steps of learning a new skill.
In order to become a true professional, we ALL must go through these 4 steps.
That is why I encourage you to “knock yourself unconscious”!!!
Practice, drill, rehearse and knock yourself unconscious every day!!!!
About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.
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