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Discover your 4-Fold Capacity

Discover your 4-Fold Capacity

I worked in retail for a short time, and detail business that retail is, the experience created some lingering impressions for me. One was a fascination with taking inventory, and projecting the potential margins that inventory could represent.

In the retail business I learned to consider assets as a means to an end; the ‘end’ was product and service. My shop inventory created a product experience for the customer which exponentially magnified my actual cost of goods sold, generating much larger revenue streams. In its raw form, my inventory was actually capacity.

Capacity. The word began to be one that struck some very resonant chords with me. As I discovered my passions in management and leadership, it didn’t take me too long to connect the abundance of human intrigue to capacity too. I wondered about the human capacity for worthwhile work: Could that be something we could ‘take inventory’ of?

Today, I look at our capacity for work in four different ways; physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Within each realm, we can reveal the incredible potential people have, because we look at their innate strengths with a bigger view; we ‘see more’ of them in that we see them with a greater wholeness.

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In particular, this four-fold view of a person’s capacity has been a good way for me to coach leaders in the mentorship they offer to those they feel are their possible successors. When we mentor, we want to help another discover all they are capable of achieving in a full exploration and celebration of who they are, and who they can be.

Let’s look at these four different dimensions of human capacity one at a time. I am still learning about the abundance to be found in each, and I invite you to investigate them with me.

Physical Capacity

Athleticism, appearance and health are the more obvious parts of physical capacity, however this also includes demeanor, disposition, and those personality traits important for likeability. Beyond those surface traits we recognize, we are looking to discover someone’s born-in talents. From those talents we can reveal their natural inclination for learning certain skills. Conversely, their non-talents will reveal when learning other skills will prove difficult for them.

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Intellectual Capacity

If we are to ‘respect a person’s intelligence’ we must reveal all of their intelligence and celebrate it. Intellectual capacity is what we most often refer to as a person’s pool of knowledge, and further, how they apply and use it. It is how a person thinks and reasons, and how they make decisions. Intellectual capacity includes their ability with problem solving, their thirst for learning, and their capacity for generating new ideas. I have begun to think of self-talk and ‘mental gymnastics’ as the tools of intellectual capacity.

Emotional Capacity

Included in emotional capacity is self-esteem, confidence, and the assertiveness which stems from personal values; thus I consider someone’s beliefs and deep-seated convictions to be more a part of their emotional capacity than of their intellectual capacity. Going back to the concept of ‘taking inventory,’ emotional capacity also includes our tolerance and load factors for stress and burn-out. This is where I’ll also look at someone’s sense of belonging and needs for security. Energy level is directly related to your emotional capacity.

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Spiritual Capacity

I have always found it most useful to look at this as defining the ways a person is inspired, in other words, how they are ‘in-spirit.’ This is the inventory of someone’s personal values, their grounding and sense of place, and their aloha spirit (how they are in the ‘breath of life’). Within spiritual capacity we can start to recognize our connections to social responsibility, to civic duty, to our humanitarian tugs-of-heart, and with those things which bring us closer to a sense of self-actualization.

When managers are coached to look at their people through these lenses, it is akin to their meeting them all over again. They can gain far greater levels of respect for the richness people represent, and they get excited about the opportunity they have been given as coaches and mentors. They begin to realize how unlimited our capacity can be, and they coach better because they encourage more, and with a far greater sense of optimism and celebration.

When you are a manager, the capacity of your people is an inventory well worth taking, for the abundance it creates is actually within you and your outlook.

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Related Articles:
Experience Required. (Are you sure?)
What it means to “Look to your source.”
Mastery, Permission to be oh so human. Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. For more of her ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives, or download her manifesto: Managing with Aloha, on ChangeThis.com.

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Easy to duplicate = Easy to learn.

More by this author

Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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