February 3, 2023

How to teach employees to be independent. Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

From trainee to leader: how people learn new things

There is a ladder that shows how a child learns the world. This ladder is not an invention of the author of the article, but a reworking of material from the psychologist Elkonin, a student of Vygotsky. It is difficult to say how scientific knowledge about the ladder is, but it is definitely practical.

The ladder shows how a child learns the world, but in the same way, anyone learns a new subject area, including designers, programmers, and doctors. The type of tasks and the format of the feedback depends on which step of the ladder a person is on.

The ladder has seven steps, which can be divided into three areas: learning, a dialogue of equals, and a source of expertise.

The learning area

Step and features:
1. Subject level: a person gets to know the basics; for example, they learn what font and color harmony are.

2. Interaction Level: he or she learns to combine objects, such as combining font and color in a logo.

3. Action Level: a person recognises and reproduces mentor patterns. They learn to do as the mentor does, while not yet understanding why to do precisely that and this way.

What tasks can be set: Educational or practice ones — those that are not in the critical area, or tasks with a low cost of error. These tasks are compared with the standard: you need to do as well as experienced comrades. 

The dialogue of equals area

Step and features:
1. The level of dialogue: it is necessary to take into account the position of an employee, talk with them on equal terms, and evaluate their work by the effectiveness of decisions, not in comparison with a standard.

2. Feat level: a person wants to receive confirmation of their exclusivity.

What tasks can be set: Combat tasks and real problems. 

The source of expertise area

Step and features:
1. Theory level: a person generalizes experience in the subject area and receives a coherent theory about how everything works. There is a risk that a person will think they know the truth. The Dunning — Kruger effect explains this distortion in more detail.

2. Paradox level: a person understands that any model is not complete, and other people’s worldviews may differ, then takes the difference into account in reasoning.

Mastering the level of paradox allows a person to treat other people’s experiences as more valuable and to be a good mentor.

What tasks can be set: Problems of high complexity in the area of uncertainty and mentoring.

Next, we’ll talk more about each area, and then we’ll talk about goals synchronization, feedback, and layoffs.

Part 4 coming soon.

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