Science of Self ™ Knowledge Centre

Layers of Performance (Layer 3: Education & Training)

Jul 3, 2011


This is part of the Layers of Performance framework: Click Here to read the introduction.

disc profile layers

The next layer of the Layers of Performance framework is education and training. In order to succeed in any endeavour we must have some degree of education and training. We must understand the value of knowledge, whether we have it and, if not, where we can get it. Education and training helps to build on the foundation provided by our personal talents, cognitive ability and emotional intelligence to grow our competencies and skills. The aim of education and training is to increase a person’s knowledge and to apply that knowledge

Education and training can be used, at least to some extent, to compensate for deficiencies in other areas of the Layers of Performance. We can also use other people’s education and training to make up for some of our own knowledge gaps.

There are two broad kinds of knowledge:

  • 1. General Knowledge – Which is a broad knowledge across many topics. General knowledge, while useful in being able to relate to, and converse, with different people and topics, is often perceived to be not as valuable as the second kind of knowledge.
  • 2. Specialised Knowledge – Which is a specific knowledge in a particular area or task. This specialised knowledge is often seen as the most valuable, and an important part, of the Layers of Performance model to develop.

An important misconception about knowledge is “knowledge is power”. We would argue that in this context, the ability to organise, use and apply knowledge effectively is power. Indeed, many would consider the ability to pass on knowledge a source of still greater power.

Education and training can be both formal and informal. Formal meaning it is a structured learning program facilitated with a specific purpose in mind. Informal meaning that it is not structured – it is the things that we learn by experience and being in the moment: tacit knowledge.

There are two over aching types of education and training, that can both be either formal or informal, these are:

  • Theoretical – This kind of education focuses on building a conceptual understanding of a topic. Theoretical education it is often based on ideal or hypothetical situations that may not occur in real life situations. In this type of training the goal is to pass on an understanding of the relevant information – it is not necessarily concerned with how to use the information.
  • Practical – This kind of education focuses on how to use and apply knowledge to particular circumstances. The goal of this kind of training is to have the participants able to not only understand a concept, but apply it in a real situation.

We need both theoretical education and practical education to grow our performance. In order to effectively apply a concept we must first understand that concept.

Through education and training our knowledge grows over time and, when applied, helps to increase our experience.

Related Information:

Topics: Profiling & Assessment Tools

Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."


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