How to make constructive criticism like a champion

You want to learn something new, but do you find it difficult to do so?

You probably don’t have the confidence to start learning something new, or you don’t know how to improve your existing skills.

Let me state this in advance. Most people find it difficult to learn, so if you are one of these people, you shouldn’t feel sick.

And the good news is that in the next few minutes I will introduce you to the stages of learning. This knowledge will help you overcome learning challenges and turn you into a super learner.

Let’s dive straight …

What is the learning stage?

There are a total of three stages of learning, and each stage can be categorized as follows.

Stage 1: Cognitive learning

In this first stage, known as cognitive learning, learners consciously or unknowingly observe, listen, and connect based on the knowledge they have already acquired.

Cognitive learning involves students in the learning process and uses the brain to make new connections from knowledge already stored in the mind. This helps them develop problem-solving skills and improve their understanding.

Knowledge at this stage can be obtained in one of the following ways:

Implicit learning

This happens when the learner is unaware of the fact that he is actually learning. It lacks specific instructions, but instead relies on visual and verbal cues — this is usually done in a social setting.

To give this example, consider a child who is learning to speak. Usually, they learn the components of their language in a social environment without being formally taught by a teacher.

This organic form of learning leads to knowledge that is successfully retained over the years, regardless of the psychological changes that the learner experiences.

Implicit learning is effective in reproducing skills and is IQ and age independent.

Explicit knowledge

This happens when people are actively looking for opportunities to learn. Like implicit learning, this relies on visual and verbal cues, but does not require teacher involvement.

Take the case of riding a bicycle as an example.

Those who want to master this skill may try to imitate the behavior of existing riders and learn for themselves. These are visual clues. However, we may ask someone for guidance to get started. These are verbal clues.

Explicit learning is a great way to learn new concepts and train your brain to solve problems.

Collaborative learning

This type of learning is most commonly used in educational institutions. This includes collaboration between tutors, learners, and other students.

I’m sure you are familiar with the process:

Tutors convey knowledge and help learners understand it. This usually involves learners being asked to discuss newly acquired information and tie it to the knowledge they have already acquired.

Collaborative learning improves learners’ creative thinking, verbal communication, and leadership skills. It also helps to increase learners’ self-esteem and expose them to different perspectives.

Collaborative learning

In co-op learning, students have to interact with each other and with their tutors.

The structure is like the learner having to follow the tutor’s instructions. The instructor then observes and evaluates the learner to ensure that he or she is learning the purpose of the skill and knowledge.

This style of learning is most effective when practical knowledge is shared. For example, both the sportsfield and the music room are excellent collaborative learning environments, where you can see tutors not only give hands-on demonstrations, but students try new skills.

Co-op learning helps students build retention, relationships and self-confidence. In addition, it provides opportunities for social support and helps improve attitudes and tolerance towards those who are considered different from authority and others.

Observation learning

This learning style involves the acquisition of knowledge by observing and imitating others.

Many people are attracted to this style. It makes learning a fun activity, promotes social interaction, and enhances memory.

Want to know more about observational learning? Then check out our article: How to learn effectively using observational learning

Meaningful learning

This type of learning is the opposite of memorization. It happens when the concept is fully understood and actually applied.

For example, consider a chemistry student who learned from a tutor that mixing certain chemicals can cause an explosive reaction. Once students know this, it prevents them from mixing those chemicals in the laboratory.

For meaningful learning, new information needs to be linked to previously acquired knowledge. It is constructive and encourages learning through a variety of techniques.

Stage 2: Associative learning

In this style of learning, the brain is tuned to learn or modify the response, taking into account the stimuli provided. This happens when old and new information is linked to each other and ideas and experiences are mutually strengthened.

Associative learning emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge from the environment and enhances optimal behavior.

Now let’s look at the different forms of associative learning conditioning.

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning is where the brain is trained to associate certain desired outcomes with behavior.

For example, in the workplace, if an employee achieves a goal, it can be a cash bonus. At home, if the kids finish their homework, it can be extra screen time for the kids.

Classical conditioning helps to correct unwanted traits of the learner and also helps to overcome phobias.

Operant conditioning

This type of conditioning follows the idea that certain actions occur when there is a final punishment or reward.

Think about how schools usually run …

If you pass the course, you will be given a certificate and qualifications. But if we appear late for the lesson, we may be punished by being sent to detention!

If this concept stimulates your interest, be sure to read our article: Positive motivation or negative motivation: which is better?

Extinct conditioning

This is when the brain is trained not to expect a previously expected response when certain conditions are not met.

A rock band that drops songs from a live set because they couldn’t get the audience enthusiastic is a good example of this style of conditioning.

Extinct conditioning can also be used to modify existing behavior that may be undesirable.

Identification conditioning

This is where the brain is trained to ensure that it expects a particular outcome for the stimulus.

A simple example of this is training a dog to stay stationary with the “wait” command.

Proceeding from associative learning, we move on to the third final stage of learning, the stage that gives the learner the most freedom.

Stage 3: Autonomous learning

This is the stage of learning where learners acquire knowledge through independent efforts and develop the ability to investigate and evaluate away from the influence of tutors and peers.

This final stage learner has sufficient knowledge and power to control learning.

Usually, they look for sources that help them make decisions based on their own understanding of the problem. In addition, learners at this stage are responsible for setting their own goals and goals.

With autonomous learning, learners learn through their will and passion. These learners have the freedom to develop their own learning plans and strategies to achieve their goals. They are also aware of their learning style and can self-assess.

Why do you need to care?

Understanding and applying the learning stages can have many benefits, including:

  • Improve your memory
  • Increase confidence
  • Reduce learning time

Needless to say, you can broaden your knowledge and perspectives and teach others.

So when you’re ready to learn how to apply the learning stages, dive in!

3 steps to apply the learning phase (free worksheet)

You don’t have to be super smart to be a fast learner. In fact, it is a skill that anyone can learn. You need to understand and apply the different stages of learning. Understanding this process will help you learn what you need, in the time you need it.

Before explaining how to apply three-step learning, Free learning worksheet – Available here: Learn faster at the learning stage (worksheet) I will explain the guide together.

Step 1: Name one skill / knowledge you are taking

Think a little about the one skill / knowledge you are trying to capture.

Once you know what it is, write it down.

As an example to help you get started, pretend you want to learn how to drive.

Step 2: Break it down into sub-skills

There are definitely multiple things you need to learn when trying to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Continuing with the driving example, you need to learn and understand the rules of the road and the practicality of driving. These include car start and stop, clutch control, gear changes, braking and reverse.

And of course, you will need to reach a certain level of driving ability to allow you to pass your country’s driving test.


Take some time to think about the sub-skills of what you want to learn and then write them down.

Step 3: Evaluate your personal inventory

In this final step, you need to look inside and evaluate your abilities.

This is essential to understanding your current skills and seeing what you lack and what you can enhance. You can also use this step to abandon restrictive thoughts, such as constantly comparing yourself to others.

Going back to the driving example, you may spend some time assessing your current knowledge of road safety (which may be a cyclist who already knows the rules of the road) and confidence levels.

To make this step easy and accurate, we have created a free worksheet that allows you to come up with specific actions that can be taken to bridge the gap between the current learning stage and the goal stage.

Download the worksheet now: Learn faster at the learning stage (worksheet)


Understanding and applying the learning stages will increase your confidence and speed up your learning. I used to spend months learning. You can learn in just a few weeks.

Mastering learning opens up a whole new world of knowledge and skills to you.

You can learn musical instruments and new languages. Also, if you are already studying at university, you can streamline your studies and get the grades you can.

Life belongs to the learner. Download free worksheets now and manage your life and learning. Learn faster at the learning stage (worksheet)

Happy learning!

Featured Photo Credits: Luwagon via How to make constructive criticism like a champion

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