The Danger of Unconscious Competence

Your unique melody of order is the balanced result of desire, intent, and behavior; but only if the melody flows from your authenticity. To safely and productively wade the stream of awareness, you must be conscious and present.

Talk about Trust

The learning continuum illustrates the joint progression of competence and consciousness. With any given point of knowledge we begin in the realm of “I don’t know what I don’t know.” We are unconsciously incompetent. This was me as the facilitator rigged us to climb 45 feet into the trees and then take a walk across a wobbly line to another tree. As I assisted Rob with the safety rope attached to our teen leaders, I watched them ascend one at a time. I became consciously incompetent. I now saw what I did not know; and it was a lot.

I was the last one to perform this act in the trees. There is no way I will claim conscious competence at this tree-top activity, but with practice I could. Can Rob claim unconscious competence? He probably could, but I bet he would not recommend it. My guess is, that while he is in the trees, he is very present with his actions. It would be dangerous to not be present in the heights and unconscious of individual action.

And so it is with our unique, individual Desire & Intent. Our impact as leaders in the 21st Century demands a conscious presence. It is through a conscious presence where we build our competence through practice. The more I work one-on-one with leaders, the more I see the danger in a blind dependence of across-the-board unconscious competence. We must learn to manage personal action in light of what Malcolm Gladwell calls thin slicing balanced against the demand to be present with our behavior.

As you follow through on a commitment to selfless time for personal growth and development, you dismantle the hold of an old confidence. Find those areas of unconscious competence – unique strengths – and one by one bring them back to consciousness; to the present. See what you may need to unlearn and cross reference new learning with what you already do well.

Join the exciting and fulfilling journey of A New Confidence and reduce your exposure to the danger of unconscious competence. Do not wade the stream of awareness when you cannot see the bottom. Step carefully. Step consciously.

1 thought on “The Danger of Unconscious Competence

  1. Pingback: Trust and Commitment (Committed Trust) « Jeff Brunson

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