44Every now and then a colleague of mine and me have the pleasure of leading one of the best Customer Service workshops in existence for our employees. One of the basic requirements for attendance is to have some Customer Service Experience already so we usually have people with between 6 months to many years of experience in the field. We have noticed that in the beginning of the workshop the most unengaged and uninterested colleagues are the ones with more years in this business. This is quite normal – after all they have been attending a multitude of trainings in the past and their expectations are that there is not much that they could learn. And not only that – they have been doing this for quite a while – they are not newbies.
To help them understand what the purpose of the workshop is, we begin with a simple scheme – the Competence Model.
It describes four states in which a person can be in regard to a specific knowledge, task, etc...
1. Unconsciously incompetent – "I don't know that I don't know"
2. Consciously incompetent – "I know that I do not know"
3. Unconsciously competent – "I know, but I don't know that I know"
4. Consciously competent – "I know that I know"
We explain that our goal during the three days that we spend together is to help each and every one bring as much of their knowledge to the Consciously Competent state.
During the last session that we had this month one of the attendees made a very interesting remark that was an Aha! moment for me and I wanted to share it with all of you.
He said that we have to be careful when we are in the Consciously Competent quadrant about something, because it can quickly become our comfort zone, where we decide that there is nothing else to know and quickly fall back to state of Unconscious incompetence, failing to continue progressing and ultimately fall behind.
The more I thought about it the more sense it made to me. It's a trap that we create for ourselves the moment we decide that there is nothing more that we could learn and we know everything or we are the best. This is true for individuals and this is true for companies (which consist of individuals by the way :-) ).
For us as Leaders it is important to remember that clichéd Aristotle quote – "The more you know, the more you know you don't know" and keep an open mind, challenge ourselves constantly, look for feedback, work relentlessly with it and fear only the feeling of comfort that signifies the end of our own individual progress.

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