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Many business owners and leaders struggle with the concept of people development. It can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The good news is that developing your team can be easy if you consistently follow four simple steps. By taking the time to focus on each of these areas, you will see your team reach new levels of success. So, what are these four steps? Let’s dive in…

People development is an intentional process.


People development is an intentional process. It is a deliberate attempt to help people improve their skills and knowledge so that they can reach their full potential. While some people may naturally gravitate towards this type of development, others may need more guidance. However, once you manage to create a system for people development, it becomes a systematic way to promote people to higher levels within the organisation.


This process can be used to identify people with high potential and provide them with the opportunities and resources they need to reach their goals. When executed well, it will also help to create a more cohesive work environment, as people feel supported in their career advancement.


In this blog post we unpack the power of the “Developing Others” tool by GiANT. We also understand how to empower people to lead more effectively. This results in having people led in a way that they enjoy.


In each stage of this growth journey, there is a specific role for both the “learner” (aka “apprentice”) and the “expert” (aka “master-craftsman”). The process entails effective progression around the square towards mastery. At each stage, both responsibility, and support/challenge are gradually increased over time. It is critical that this progression is timed and calibrated, to keep pace with the learner’s ability to handle it.

The 4 steps of people development


The 4 stages of people development

Are you interested in learning the 4 Stages of people development? Read on…


Step 1 – The Unconscious Incompetence Stage

Here we don’t know what we don’t know. All learning begins here. From the perspective of the expert teaching the skill, the responsibilities are as follows: “I do (expert), you watch (learner).” This is where the learner starts studying the foundational information of the skill through key documents, videos, etc. Meanwhile, during this initial stage the learner has the opportunity to shadow the expert.

Step 2 – The Conscious Incompetence Stage

This second stage tends to come quickly. As the apprentice moves into the learning journey, at this stage they know and realise what they aren’t good at. They also realise everything they have to still learn to master this skill set. At this point, the journey ahead can be somewhat intimidating. The expert who is developing them should now start assigning small responsibilities. This will allow them to start participating actively in the task at hand. Above all, it is important not to assign responsibility for things that will overwhelm them or prove disastrous for the team if they get it wrong. This is the stage of “I do (expert), you help (learner)”.

Step 3 – The Conscious Competence Stage

During this third stage, the apprentice has been getting more practice and taking on key responsibilities for the skill. It takes focus, effort, preparation, and probably a longer time-frame (and most likely lower quality) than the expert. However they are starting to get it. The responsibility should now be “You do (learner), I help (expert).” Beware, this is a tricky stage.  The learner might be doing it well one day, but then make a seemingly basic mistake the next day because they haven’t mastered it yet.

Here the expert needs to express more support and assistance so that the learner doesn’t fall into the “Pit of Despair.” As the expert, it can be easy to think they should have mastered it by now, however it’s not yet second nature. It takes time, which is why there is a clock in the middle of the diagram above. What they really need is not just more time but vision, and encouragement from you to get to the final stage.

Step 4 – The Unconscious Competence Stage

During this fourth and final stage, the learner has now become an expert and demonstrates mastery of the skill. They now start executing in a way that is almost natural to them. The original expert must now fully empower the new expert to carry out their responsibilities without micromanaging. This brings us to the “You do (learner), I watch (expert)” final stage.


In conclusion, great leaders understand that people development is essential to expanding capacity and taking their team’s performance to the next level. At KastellVP, we coach business leaders on how they can develop their people more intentionally. We help them map any new skills they want to train directly to the process, with specific steps and actions for each stage. This allows everyone to succeed with clear and empowering expectations. By taking this approach, leaders can ensure that their team is constantly learning and growing, which is essential for long-term success.


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