The other day I was reminded of the stages of competence. It is often shown as a hierarchy; however, a better representation is as a circle, as you are likely to move from unconscious competence to unconscious incompetence when things change. My knowledge of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure provides a good example, especially as it was my realising I had slipped from unconscious competence to unconscious incompetence in this area that prompted me to think about the model.
Originally, I was unaware that I knew nothing about the electric vehicle charging infrastructure, I drove a petrol or diesel car for many years until 1st January 2019 when I started my experiment using public transport, I had no need to think about it. Then when I considered using an electric car, I realised I knew nothing about the charging infrastructure but wanted to, conscious incompetence and the start of the learning process. It was a steep learning curve and, if you follow my Electric Car Driving Experience blog, you will know there have been plenty of trials and tribulations on the way to conscious competence. I now have several helpful apps on my phone, have a good knowledge of charging points in my local area and in places that I regularly visit. I do not need to research and plan those regular trips, unconscious competence.
On Tuesday I had a meeting in Roche and on the way home intended charging the car at Kingsley Village, if both chargers were in use (very unlikely at that time of day) I would carry on to Carland Cross and use the charger there. Both chargers at Kingsley Village were available; I plugged in and the light on my car’s charge point went red – not good. I had a fiddle about to no effect so moved over to the other charger, which started to charge okay then immediately cut out. I tried several times and got the same results. On a previous occasion when this happened, I phoned the helpline and they were unable to help so I did not phone this time, instead I drove on to Carland Cross.
There was a car at the Carland Cross charger with the driver standing beside it engaged in an animated telephone conversation with, I assume, the helpline, he checked the display several times and disconnected and reconnected his car a few times. There would only be two outcomes, the problem would not be resolved and the charger would be out of action, or it would be rectified and the car would be there for a fair amount of time on charge. I decided to bite the bullet and find another charge point, even though I would have to pay. The Shell Recharge, BP Pulse and InstaVolt networks are free for me to use as part of my all-inclusive electric vehicle rental.
I checked the Zap-Map app to find a charge point and was surprised to find there was one on the Shell Recharge network in Pool at the Copper Coast pub, less than two miles away from where I live. It was not there a few months ago. I had become unconsciously incompetent.
To me the most dangerous places to be are:
unconsciously incompetent – if you cannot see the problem, you are the problem.
unconsciously competent – if things change you may not be aware you are no longer competent and be unaware of opportunities.
Both states are where no learning is taking place. The solution is to surround yourself with a diverse group of people and take part in different activities – travel is a wonderful way of achieving this.
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