According to Robbins-Madanes Training, we all have six human needs that we do our best to satisfy, regardless of our culture, financial status, skills or experience. They are:
- Certainty: The need for our lives to have constancy, to be secure, to be stable.
- Variety: The need for change, for things to be different, to be uncertain.
- Significance: The need to feel respected, important and valued.
- Love and connection: The need to give and receive love, and to feel connected with others.
- Growth: The need to develop and expand in different areas such as knowledge, skills, experience and spirituality.
- Contribution: The need to make a difference in the world, outside of ourselves, by helping and supporting others.
Each of us prioritises two of these six needs above the others, and these higher priority needs influence the way we see the world, the decisions we make and how we live our lives.
You can see that your life would be different if you prioritised stability rather than variety, for instance. Whether or not these needs are being met has a huge impact on our happiness and sense of fulfilment.
Most people can feel comfortable by focusing their attention on meeting two or more of the first four needs. We can only feel genuinely fulfilled, however, by meeting the final two needs.
Looking at the list above:
- Which two needs do you prioritise?
- How do you currently meet these needs? (can be positively or negatively)
- Thinking of people you know well, which two needs do they prioritise?
- How could you help them to meet these needs constructively?
Enjoy exploring and you'll be amazed how it changes your approach and interactions once you understand which needs people are trying to meet.
Charlie Mitchell is currently studying Strategic Intervention through the Robbins-Madanes Institute.