Playing catch up – I wrote this nearly a month ago:
I spoke of capacity last night with my cousin-slash-unofficial(ha)-coach/mentor.
“You know you can’t build capacity, right?” He said with an amused grin.
I gave a puzzled expression.
“So you either have it or you don’t?”
“Capacity, for me, is instances when the graduate who sits next to me doesn’t know something – he immediately turns to his side, ‘Hey, can you explain this to me?’ and absorbs the info for use later on.” He paused; I listened. How much one can take on, I thought to myself, and how we thus understand and utilize that info for ourselves.
“But I don’t think you’ve a problem with this – I think you have capacity. Your boss said the same thing. What you need to work on is your self-esteem. You need to manage that.” His tone was matter-of-fact. “What is the reputation you want to build of yourself? Be known for? Identify that and work on projecting it at work.”
“I want-“ I replied, somehow stuttering.
The word ‘nice’ came to mind, but it wasn’t the right one.
“I want to be a different kind of project engineer,” I finally said.
“I don’t believe there’s just one type of PE – that of my KL boss. One can be understated, ‘soft’ in approach yet firm.”
“Three things: manage your self-esteem; listen with empathy; and build on your ‘flying hours’ – seek others for help even if you [think you] know it. Pace yourself and take your time in doing so – it’s fine to take your time to grow.”
I am very grateful for the mentors in my life :)