Saturday, September 03, 2011

Dear Lazy Drafter #3 - Unconscious Incompetance

I often get asked for CAD advice and I might have an idea about what to do. Then again, I often have stupid ideas too. Oh well, if you are seeking CAD advice, and don't care who you get it from, drop me a line at I'll do my best not to make you feel worse.

Dear Lazy Drafter,

I am a Lead Drafter for a team of 8 drafters. I just hired a kid out of a 2 year technical school. During the interview, he spoke well and had good confidence. I look for this because the drafters here need to work interdependently. Now that he has been on the job for 7 weeks, it has become clear that he is not that confident with the software. He takes longer than he needs to. He really cares about doing good work but, he can't seem to do it very quick. the hard part for me is that he thinks speed is not the issue, and he just needs overtime to make deadlines. I have showed him tricks like using key-ins and leveraging his selection sets, but I don't think any of it is sticking. How do you tell someone, they need to improve, when they think they are great? He really believes it!

The Emperor's New CAD Man

Dear Emperor,

According to a wise old man named Abraham Maslow, there are four stages to learning..

Unconscious Incompetence You don't know what you don't know.
Conscious IncompetenceYou know you don't know something.
Conscious Competence - You know how to do something.
Unconscious Competence You do something so well, it doesn't take conscious thought.

I think your new drafter is at stage 1. That would make your next step, finding a way to let them know that the expectation is higher than they thought. If there is no problem perceived, the behavior will never change. I do have more patience for someone who is unaware they are a problem than someone who is perfectly aware they are. I hope you will find that once your drafter accepts that speed is a real issue, that he will progress into stage 2 where he should begin dealing with the speed problem. Before long he should be at stage 3 by focusing on the speed issue. You may not even notice when stage 4 happens and he is executing commands without thought. Think of how often you hit the enter key or the space bar. Do you think about it each time, or does hand just do it out of habit?

Being aware that everyone is at a different stage of learning with just about everything they do, helps me deal with their behaviors better. It's also cool to think that I learned something in college that I still apply in my daily life.
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