How to be a Conscious Leader:  Be Aware of  Your Vulnerability in Learning

How to be a Conscious Leader. This episode highlights the beauty and challenges of learning, following Martin M. Broadwell’s model and the “Four Levels of Teaching.”  Though relevant to teaching, this framework becomes valuable to explore relative to learning and where, as adults, we sometimes get stuck.

The 4 levels are:

1. Unconscious incompetence: Where no one wants to be or hang out very long!

2. Conscious incompetence: Where we identify a learning need or gap in our knowledge and skills.

3. Conscious competence: Where we learn and have to try really hard to get it right!

4. Unconscious competence: Where you show up to work not remembering how you got there (meaning, it’s second nature!).

As a leader you can apply this model to your own learning and to the challenges your team will also face.  In this episode, I’ll use SMART goals as an example of this process.

To use the model effectively consider these three “seeds” of learning:

  1. Notice your thoughts when you’re learning something new.  Don’t judge yourself, but notice when you’re saying negative things to yourself (e.g., “This is too hard,” “I’m too old to learn this,” “This sucks!”).

  2. Feel all the feelings.  Allow them, experience them.  Feelings of awkwardness, frustration, irritation, embarrassment….they’re all part of our learning journey.  Those feelings won’t hurt us, we need to work through them to experience more confidence and success.

  3. Notice when it becomes easier.  Celebrate when you (or others!) learn something new.  Give yourself permission to acknowledge, recognize, reward yourself for the growth.  And for working through the challenges to mastery.

Because by observing this process in yourself and with others, you’ll model resilience.  And next time, it will be just a little easier!

After you listen to the podcast, check out my video on SMART Goals