Real Estate Agents, how truly competent are you?
The Four Stages of Learning provides a model for learning. It suggests that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or are literally unconscious of their incompetence. As they recognize their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, then consciously use it, polishing it and improving with practice. Eventually, the skill can be utilized without it being consciously thought through: the individual is said to have then acquired unconscious competence.
Keeping it practical and tactical…
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The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may even deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on their own desire to learn and improve.
Example: A real estate agent has never had to compete on a listing. They only work with referrals, friends, and family. They don’t see a need for a Pre-Listing Package or a formal listing presentation. They don’t pre-qualify, they probably don’t use any scripts. They have been reasonably successful. They sometimes believe they already must have that skill because they’ve done ok so far.
Stimulus to Learn: Losing a deal, a listing, a buyer to someone more professional. Almost always a shocking surprise to someone in unconscious incompetence.
Goal: This agent must learn to set more appointments so they see they need to upgrade their skills. More experience will shine the light on deficits.
Challenges: If it takes too long to experience the loss of a deal or a listing, the agent can stay in this stage forever.
Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage. Lots of trial and error.