Stages of Mastery: The 3 Levels of Perfection Phase by Phase

In this century, it’s all about how — how to more quickly move from novice to mastery. And there are also three phases — three levels of mastery you can develop. Few can do all three. But each one builds greater career success.

What are the 3 Phases of Mastery?

“Only the curious will grow and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning.” — Eugene Wilson

IThis page covers the three mastery learning levels and the roles allowing you to:

  • Stage 1: Know (Level I Learning: Expertise)
  • Stage 2: Do (Level 2 Learning: Skills), and
  • Stage 3: Teach (Level 3 Learning)

Mastery learning is the term we use to describe the basic skills helpful to building other skills. The first level is primarily cognitive.The second level focuses on skill — the skills that accelerate the learning of certain application skills. In other words, most of us have never been taught how to learn. 

Mastering anything gives you an advantage. But the system doesn’t show you how to master anything. It expects you to know. And we don’t know, but you could.

Rare indeed is the person who can do all three. But if you can, fame and fortune become your best friend.

Case: Example of the Buddha

someone who performed all three roles well was The Buddha. He formulated an easy to remember set of principles known as the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path. For the beginners, you could study sutra; for the advanced, tantra.

And he was skilled—he mastered the deceptively simple skill of meditation, even though it took him many years of strenuous effort. And finally, he taught for about 40 years. 

Ultimately, he generated a social movement and a method of personal development that has flourished for 2600 years.

Mastering learning gives you an advantage over your competition. Unfortunately, few teachers show you how to master anything —they just expect you to know.

How Can Mastery Be Achieved Faster?

“If we don’t have a vision of the future, we are lost in the present.” — Murray Johannsen

Skill Mapping. The Future of Career Development.  Decide what skills you need to prosper in the 21st Century

Skill-Based Learning. What You Need, When You Need It. The theory you need to know but were never taught.

The Mastery Practices. The Secrets to Lifelong Learning. The five mental skills that shorten the time from novice to mastery.

Mastery Level 1: The Level of Expertise

“One must know before one can do.” — Murray Johannsen

Becker von, Adolf (1831 – 1909): The Art Expert. Many expertise areas require many years of study to develop — years above and beyond getting a master’s or a Ph. D.

“Before one can do, you must understand.”  —  Murray Johannsen

Level 1 is the level of expertise — the deep understanding of ideas and concepts that go beyond the superficial. At this level, the focus is on the first two levels of Blooms Taxonomy:

  • Knowledge (Remembering), and
  • Understanding.

Expertise is what you have been your ears, what you can’t find on Google when you are talking to the boss, what you don’t have time to find in the mobile phone during a meeting , what’s important to recall to impress your friends, and what you need to know to build understanding.

Mastery Level 2: Skill Mastery

Felice Beato: Picture of Samurai in Armor. These individuals were expected to achieve perfection as a warrior. This was symbolized by Miyamoto Musashi who in 1643 wrote The Book of Five Rings, achieving fame through victory in one-on-one combat

In this century, it’s all about how — how to learn better and faster. It’s about how one evolves from a novice to mastery.

Level II learning is about mastering skills. Learning to learn is an advantage in this world. Unfortunately,  No one every teaches you to learn to learn–they just expect you to know. How one goes beyond mastery to instruct others.

Mastery Level 3: The Master Instructor

When the student is ready, the master appears. — Buddhist Proverb

Claude Lefèbvre (1632–1675): A Teacher and his Pupil. In the old days, the rich would educate their young by someone who was considered wise in the ways of the world.

“The best way to learn something is to teach it.” — Murray Johannsen

Just because you know, it doesn’t mean you can do. Just because you can do, doesn’t mean you can teach. 

This is the level of the teacher, the coach, the tutor, and the instructor. It requires more than the simple transmission of knowledge; after all, that can be done by reading a book.

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