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4D human being

4D human being is a genuinely ground breaking approach to personal and professional development. It is based on Integral Theory; the most comprehensive theory of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual human development to date.Article by by Tom Bruno-Magdich om Bruno-Magdich, 4D Integral Coach & Training Facilitatorand Philippa Waller, 4D Integral Coach & Training Facilitator at 4D HumanBeing.

Living, loving and working in 4D (4 dimensions) means being fully aware of and integrating the four dimensions of human expression. The 4Ds are: Physical – communicating with our bodies, the way we behave and what we do Emotional – communicating from our hearts, the way we feel and make others feel; Intellectual – communicating knowledge, information and using our ability to think logically and creatively; Intentional – communicating the personal values and beliefs that drive us.

95 percent of traditional, organisational development focuses on trying to make leaders and managers more productive through training that is focused on the physical and intellectual aspects of business. The tasks, the processes, the strategies and the ‘job.’ In other words – humans ‘doing.’ But the reason this ‘sheep dip’ development doesn’t always work, is because it does not support the whole human ‘being’. With the increasing drive for meaning and engagement, today’s leading organisations are realising that, to be successful, they must acknowledge, support and develop their employees by applying a 4 dimensional, integral approach.

 ‘If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.’ Abraham Maslow. Most of us would agree that we want to feel fulfilled. We want to know that our lives have meaning and that we are making a real difference personally and professionally. This drive for purpose is fast becoming the distinguishing mark of living in the 21st century. We want to do well, yes; but we also yearn for more than just material gain. In this increasingly complex, volatile and unpredictable time we live in, we are looking for a better understanding of ourselves and of each other.

The 4D human being model is based on Integral Theory: the most comprehensive theory of human development to date. Most recently brought to prominence by the American philosopher Ken Wilber, Integral Theory goes back to include philosophers, mystics and scientists from the last 3,000 years with strong roots in the ancient Eastern traditions.

In the West we have, for the most part, compartmentalised our way of being, often living in our heads (intellect). Healthcare is a good example of this with the body seen as a separate entity from our emotions, feelings and thoughts. But increasingly neuroscience is showing how emotional states and ways of thinking have both subtle and profound effects on our entire wellbeing. The most dramatic demonstration of the mind-body connection is the Placebo effect.

We are discovering that humans are not simply 3D beings. We are actually four dimensional. We are comprised of 4 distinct but integrated parts. Three of which are related to our physical experience – the body, heart and mind. The fourth is the dimension of consciousness or spirit. In other words the feeling of being a person with your own values, ideas and beliefs. Each of these dimensions must be supported, developed and integrated in order for us to function to our highest potential.

Organisational development can be prone to seeing employees as 2 dimensional beings – physical bodies transporting intellectual brains to the office. Training and leadership programmes are often about the physical and intellectual dimensions (more output, more profit, more turnover) with little acknowledgement of employees’ emotional or intentional selves, at least outside of the remit of making everyone more productive. But it is our emotions and values that drive us. There is virtually no chance of being fully productive or creative if you can’t harness your feelings or sense of purpose.

Live, love, work

4D Human Being is a roadmap for fully integrated development. It focuses on supporting a person’s intellectual, emotional, physical and intentional dimensions so that they can bring their whole selves to work. 4D Human Being is a way of living, loving and working where the primary focus is on engaging and connecting with each other through self-awareness and effective communication. In short it supports: Physical – communicating with our bodies, the way we behave and what we do; Emotional – communicating from our hearts, the way we feel and make others feel; Intellectual – communicating knowledge, information and using our ability to think logically + creatively; Intentional – communicating the personal values and beliefs that drive us.

Philippa Waller and Tom Bruno-Magdich developed the 4D approach after working with actors to help them increase their impact in performance: ‘We could see that the actors who were brilliant at communicating knew about how to manage and focus their energy. Some individuals were more based in the physical, others the mental or emotional and some were full of spirit. When all four were firing at once they were charismatic and spellbinding.’

Without conscious awareness of how your four dimensions function together, one dimension may well dominate your behaviour. This can create painful ways of being with a person becoming stuck in old and limited ways of working.

You can probably picture the brilliant leader who may be energised and full of well-meaning intentions but ignores the needs of her body and mind making her prone to ill health and intellectual stagnation. Or on the other side, there is the not so brilliant leader who is driven by his intellect, coupled with a need to win and as a result has lost touch with his humanity. In fact the effect of this type of disintegrated thinking and behaviour led to some rather nasty financial crashes in 2008.

4D Human Being helps leaders and managers to put their attention on their ‘intention.’ By activating this 4th dimension leaders are able to consciously focus in on their physical, emotional and intellectual energy in a more integrated way. Conceptually this means shifting from a 3 dimensional view of yourself as a human 'doing' to a 4-dimensional human 'BEING'. The difference is huge, both in terms of how you feel and think and how other people perceive you day to day. Practically it means consciously creating the impact, life and career you choose.

4D in action

One recent 4D coaching client was a leader who never quite seemed to make it to the next level. While he was well liked, incredibly hard working and a great strategist, he kept being overlooked for the directorship he really wanted. By working with a 4D coach he was able to recognise that some of his innate, unconscious and embedded behaviours were clearly not making the impact he wanted. He would physically rush around the office, always in a hurry, always seeming emotionally stressed and intellectually over-worked. While his results were good, the leaders of the company only saw a busy ‘worker bee.’ Not a director. Using a number of 4D techniques he learned to change the physical and emotional impact he was having on those around him. He became conscious of his behaviours and so closed the gap between his intentions and his actual impact in the world. The results? Within the time he worked with 4D, he achieved two promotions and is now the director of a key business sector in charge of over 500 members of staff.

Traditional leadership and management development tends to focus in on the action (budgets, team meetings, appraisals). In the last 10 years the rise of coaching and mentoring in the workplace has started to support and engage employees emotionally. But some organisations are now taking this further with a holistic approach to developing their managers.

4D Human Being were contacted by a senior team in a global healthcare organisation who were keen to create an innovative, awareness raising, training programme to help leaders and teams improve their cross functional communication. The issue was that people were caught in silo thinking with their heads down, focused on doing their tasks. Due to lack of both soft skills and confidence people were not exchanging enough information. As a result interpersonal communication had become one or two dimensional and for many the emotional impact day-to-day was ‘frustration.’

The 4DHB team created an integral training programme and bespoke film that revealed key insights into how people felt, thought and behaved in the relevant departments when facing the daily challenges of communicating across functions and up and down the hierarchy. By offering instantly applicable, practical communication tools, this entertaining and informative programme delivered results and is still in high demand throughout the company today. The feedback from the delegates is consistently positive across the company. As one leader announced ‘I never realised the importance of the intentional dimension. I am thinking about my intentions and how I communicate them a lot more.’

Whole person business – YOU + I = WE & IT

Taking an integrated approach to development and communication enables people to raise their consciousness, decrease stress and boost confidence. They can literally step into a new way of being. It is important that individuals – (YOU and I), teams (WE) and organisations (IT) expand their capacity for looking at themselves and the issues they face through an integral lens. This gives business and employees more choices, perspectives and understanding.

Many of us love to read articles on what successful businesses will look like in the future, and then we wonder why it isn’t happening now. But until the ‘you’ and the ‘I’ are interconnected at a holistic level you won’t get an effective ‘we’ and ‘it’ space. Businesses have traditionally shied away from holistic approaches, but developing our bodies, minds, emotions and intention is essential for our wellbeing and way of working. Fully integrated human beings build successful, healthy organisations through effective communication that creates powerful cultures. When our thinking and our behaviours are aligned we enable more efficient and supportive systems and processes. Together we communicate, connect and create a bigger sense of purpose in all 4 dimensions.

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