What are the Six Human Needs and how do they relate to motivation?

We hear a lot these days about motivation, it seems to be the buzzword of the decade, and quite rightly so, highly motivated staff lead to engaged employees lead to a happier working environment lead to higher productivity!

However, the ‘sixty thousand dollar’ question always is ‘What actually motivates someone?’ There are many motivation theories out there but the one I want to highlight in this post is related to our basic needs as humans and what happens when they aren’t met.

In the 1950’s Maslow articulated the Hierarchy of Needs, outlining how our needs change as we evolve as a society and as an individual. A model related to this but with a somewhat different perspective is the Six Human Needs model popularized by Anthony Robbins.

Powerstart your day!

For many years now we have heard about the importance of a filling, nutritional breakfast (I still manage to be horrified when some Spaniards here tell me they only have a cup of coffee for breakfast).

However, as the pace of life and demands on us continue to increase, we need more than just a boost via our alimentation. In previous posts I’ve often made reference to the importance of the balance between mind, body and spirit for a happy and satisfying life. And this is particularly important at certain moments, one of those moments being the start of the day.

Change your thoughts, change your life!

More than any time in the past the need for positive thinking is not only desirable but necessary.

In my training courses I nearly always include a small section about how we think about the skills we are learning and practicing; a consistently positive attitude towards giving a presentation for example makes a huge difference to your performance on the day, even if it’s just changing your belief from “I’m not very good at presentations” to “Every time I practice giving a presentation, I’m getting better and more confident”.

Two sources inspired me to write this post. The first was from a request by a multi- national company to deliver a course on positive thinking to combat the negative atmosphere induced by restructuring and layoffs. The second source of inspiration came from a friend who told me an interesting story. He related how for many years his principle view of life was one of negativity, believing that everything that happened to him was caused by external forces which inevitably drove him to complain incessantly.  As a consequence, people didn’t want to be around him and professional opportunities quickly dried up.Then one day someone asked him if he had read “The Secret”. After reading this book and completing changing his attitude to one of positivity and self responsibility, his life changed completely in only 15 days!

Choose to be “Happy Busy”

I recently gave a time management course where one of the sessions was dedicated to our attitude towards time. It’s probably something that the course participants didn’t think would be an integral part of the training, but as we went through the session, I could see, from the expresssion on their faces, that indeed, they felt that changes in
attitude could have a significant influence on how they would manage their time
in the future.

Time is a great leveller; we all have the same amount of time in the day to deal with. And there are two aspects to this –

  • how we organise ourselves to get our tasks done
  • how we feel about the things we have to do or are not able to do

Positivity every time!

Today is the first day of 2012.

It’s a beautiful sunny morning here in Madrid, an appropriate environment to look forward with anticipation to another year.

Some will say it’s going to be a difficult year, a year in which the economic crisis will cut more deeply, a year in which many people will experience genuine hardship.

Others will say that it’s a year in which such circumstances will provide us with the opportunity to get creative, to reflect on where our strengths are, to change our life’s direction towards that which really inspires us, to learn to be grateful for what we actually have, to value those relationships that nuture us and encourage us to be the best we can be.

“Stars don’t work for idiots.”

I love this statement, apparently made by HR guru, John Sullivan of San Francisco State University. It comes from a post about the resignation of Steve Jobs in The Harvard Business Review http://blogs.hbr.org/taylor/2011/08/why_steve_jobs_matters_to_you.html and how it encourages us to think about the legacy we ourselves will lead behind.

“Stars don’t work for idiots” a stark sentence yet full of meaning got me thinking about leadership and how many “idiots” there are, unfortunately, currently directing companies.

How many people are in positions of leadership simply because they excelled at a technical skill or because they happened to know someone who provided the famous “enchufe”? It really alarms me when I speak to reputable business people here in Spain who time after time lament that the overall standard of top directors leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to leadership and people management skills.

The new depths of motivation

“When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does.

Our current business operating system – which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators – doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade. And the science shows the way. This new approach has three essential elements:

  1. AUTONOMY – the desire to direct our own lives
  2. MASTERY the urge to get better and better at something that matters
  3. PURPOSE –  the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves”

That’s a summary from a great book I’ve just read about motivation called Drive by Daniel H. Pink. http://www.danpink.com/drive and it really struck a chord with me.