When we’re wanting to change aspects of our personality or learn a new skill or new way of being, the task can seem daunting.  Here is a lovely concept of consecutive modes of practice— an elegant 7 step process describing the evolution from learning to accomplishment.  The idea is B.K.S. Iyengar’s—Master Yoga Teacher. Although Mr Iyengar designed the 7 steps to define our journey of mastery in yoga postures, it aptly relates to all learning processes;

1. Learning

Here the individual will go beyond the point of ability and explore what lies beyond the ability level. Mistakes here are allowed so that the individual also learns the mode of correction.

2. Studying

Here the individual attempts the learning several times for the purposes of study, observation, analysis, perception, data processing and factual data. (We often forget that there is so much to learn and also that much to study!)

3. Practicing

Practice in a sense means replication.  NOT repetition, which is mechanical.  To replicate what we have learned and studied equally well each time takes conscious awareness and effort. Replication is awareness— repetition is mindless.

4. Maturing

Maturing suggest our ability to perform our learned, studied and practiced skills under different conditions and situations so that there is no acute need to ensure that we always have the same set of conditions.  We become seasoned practitioners.

5. Consolidating

This means that we’ve assimilated and ingested the learning.  It has become us.

6. Improving/Becoming profound

Improvement and effort economization bestows profundity.  Here the focus is on ’lessening the efforts in a way that the effects will not be lessened’.

7. Accomplishment.

And here, the journey has ended which is perhaps the right condition to start something new……..


ImageMichelle Clarke is an Executive Coach based in Cape Town. She works locally and internationally with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership.  To learn more about her work please visit her website www.motivcoach.com, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates.

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I work with only a select number of clients at any time. If you think we are a good fit, please email me on motivcoach@gmail.com