The Four Levels of Performance Consciousness
Ever wonder why some people are effective in their work while others aren’t? The answer may be found in their consciousness. But it’s about being aware, not just awake.
Take a look at the four levels of performance consciousness.
1. Unconscious Incompetent.
The Unconscious Incompetent doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. He’s also called a DK2, which is short for, “don’t know, squared.” He’s not only incapable but actually clueless about his inability.
In truth everyone is a DK2 from time to time. The challenge is to not live our lives as one because DK2 is a terminal professional condition. But if you’re thinking, “Oh, Great One! Please, stop me before I DK2 again,” don’t fret; we’ll get to that.
2. Unconscious Competent.
This person lurches uncontrollably toward success without knowing how it happened. We may call such a person gifted or lucky. Those who work hard for everything call them annoying.
Don’t envy the Unconscious Competent because not knowing how you got where you are is one of the definitions of lost. Any resulting success is also likely to be temporary.
3. Conscious Incompetent.
This person is incapable and knows it. There’s no ego about what he thinks he knows and no resistance to your methods and practices. A Conscious Incompetent is an amorphous block of disciple clay waiting to be molded by you, the sculptor.
Be careful. Sometimes this person wallows in his condition as an excuse for non-performance. Conscious Incompetence should be a temporary condition on the way to the ultimate level of consciousness.
4. Conscious Competent.
This person gets the job done and knows why. She can identify what causes success while being fully aware—and taking ownership—of failures.
How do you become a Conscious Competent? Through a practice called self-analysis.
Self-analysis allows us to see what we do well and capitalize on it, as well as recognize and evaluate what we don’t do well and improve or minimize it. It’s not easy because it requires control of our egos.
Ego obstructs self-analysis by telling us that any success we have is because we’re so smart, while assuring us that any failures we experience couldn’t be our fault. Successful self-analysis is part of a conscious plan for professional improvement.
By practicing self-analysis, Conscious Competents discover the enduring benefits of being honest with themselves about their own performance.
Write this on a rock... If professional excellence were a mountain, Conscious Competence would be its peak.