Unconscious Competence LO19970

Mon, 23 Nov 1998 03:35:16 EST

Replying to LO19952 --

This thread seems to be playing out, but I still feel the need to throw
out a question regarding the states of unconscious and conscious
competence. It is said that the first step to wisdom is acknowledging "I
don't know." Senge speaks about creative tension.

I would think that an individual is in a state of growth whenever he or
she is consciously incompetent for then the individual seeks to learn
having acknowledged to himself that he "doesn't know". Upon reaching
conscious competence and accepting that state of knowledge brings on
complacency. The same for unconscious competency, but more profound.
Growth and knowledge come to a stop. One could also say that this is the
height of arrogance: "I know all there is and there is nothing left to

In addition, the creative tension ceases to exist. At that point
shouldn't we be looking for new knowledge to be gained. Increasing our
tension whenever we can. I still believe that the best state is conscious
incompetence. It keeps us motivated to learn more and there is always
more to learn, only our arrogance would tell us otherwise.

So why would one be satisfied having reaching a state of conscious
competence? Shouldn't we feel a certain discomfort having reached a level
that within our own minds tells us that we are competent? Shouldn't that
concern us because certainly there is more out there to learn in any
endeavor? Somehow or other, at this point our view begins to point inward
rather than outward. We stop scanning the environment and we begin to
slip into stagnation.

Almost reminds me of "institutionalized methods of success". "This is how
we have done it in the past and it worked, sot this is how we continue to
do it." A level of conscious competence was realized and then the mills
of exploration came to a halt and all views focused inward rather that
outward toward the constantly changing environment.

I feel that when one reaches a state of conscious competence, that person
should feel a sense of fear and open the mind, step outside the box and
seek to determine what else can be learned -- what are we missing?

Just some thoughts,

Alonzo Villarreal, Jr.



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