Any change and growth are often linked with our ability to learn something new. As we learn something new, it brings out the readiness to move on to something else and thus comes the change and growth.

So, let’s have a look at the learning process and how we actually get to a point where we are aware that we have learned something.

Everything we ever learned, from walking to reading to doing everything else, our understanding of the world we live in, the meanings of things in life…all that and so much more, went through the very same learning process. Our natural ability to learn, and thus grow and expand, follow the Four Quadrants of the Learning Process.


So…. the model looks like this…

I don’t know what I don’t know
I know what I don’t know
I know what I know
I don’t know what I know

Let us take an example of driving a car and go through these Four quadrants:

Quadrant 1: I don’t know what I don’t know.

Was there ever a time in your life when that “driving a car” concept didn’t exist in your life? Or driving a car can be a “great and fun” thing didn’t exist in your life? Surely there was a time when you didn’t know about it. You were ‘Unconsciously Incompetent’, and you didn’t even know that you didn’t know.

Then, in one way or another, you discovered it, and it entered into your world.

Quadrant 2: I know what I don’t know.

Now you discovered the concept of driving the car and that the notion of it can be fun. Now, either you don’t care about driving the car and your learning process stops for now, or you start investing your time and energy into knowing more about driving the car. This behavior will move you to the third quadrant.

Quadrant 3: I know what I know.

Investing time and effort is bound to lead you to acquire the skill of driving and a sense of knowing. You become ‘Consciously Competent’ about the subject. You are now aware of how much you know about it. Having consciously mastered/understood driving the car leads you to the fourth quadrant.

Quadrant 4: I don’t know what I know.

All it takes is some repetition/practice/application of driving the car and your unconscious mind will embody it as a habit. As soon as a habit is established at this level, you will never have to do it consciously again. Your body will do it for you with zero conscious effort. You become ‘Unconsciously Competent’.

People who are driving the car for many years don’t even have to think about driving consciously anymore…the moment they are behind the steering wheel, they can drive, even if they are half asleep.

This model suggests that you will find yourself in one of those quadrants on any given subject.

Being in the state of ‘I don’t know that I don’t know’, adopting this attitude can help shape how you can engage in meetings, discussions, company transformations. It can allow you to be more flexible and open to learning new things, all the time.

This resourceful, productive attitude can be wired within so that it can show up within you at all times and make it an effortless and consistent behavior.

Sometimes, to open yourself to change and growth requires you to feel connected with yourself and your surroundings. Read here to learn how to.

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