When you are trying to learn a new skill, there are 3 stages of learning

Working with clients and their staff day in and day out, we must remember to allow for all 3 stages of learning and exercise patience.

1. The first of the 3 stages of learning is where everything is BASIC. The learner knows so little that everything has to be broken down into its fundamental units — the simplest ideas — just so they can get grasp the concepts. Most people get past this stage…although it actually can take longer than we all expect.

2. The seond of the 3 stages of learning is where everything is COMPLEX. The learner gets the basics — and at this stage of learning they are now putting constructs together. It gets complicated quickly. Everything is difficult or challenging, but the learner feels like they are learning a lot, and they are really glad they have passed through all the simple lessons. Most experts are in this stage…forever.  Many who claim to be experts never really get there.

3. The third of the 3 stages of learning is where everything is SIMPLE. This is the “simple beyond the complex”. The learner has developed a good grasp of  the complexities of what they know. Simple patterns or principles begin to emerge. Rather than assessing a problem in terms of how it is affected by a wide range of seemingly disconnected details and ideas, they can filter quickly to be able to see exactly what the issue is and how to solve it. Problem solving feels natural because they finally understand at a fundamental level that ties all the seemingly disconnected details together.

At which stage are you in the 3 stages of learning? When did you begin to feel the transition from one stage to another?  For me, some happened without feeling anything. Others felt like a 2×4 hit me upside my head!


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