Sunday, 21 August 2011

Which of the 6 Basic Human Needs drive you?

Hello again.. In my last two Blog posts I took you behind the complexity of behaviour so as to explain that it is actually driven by 7% conscious and 93% unconscious thinking. I explained that all decisions (again conscious or unconscious) are made from our own internal representations of the world we live in, our part within this world, people we meet, experiences we have, etc, etc. We filter and construct an internal Reality from what we; see, smell, hear, touch and taste, then store all of this. Our outlook on life, our views, perceptions, judgements, decisions, etc, are made through these filters (consciously or unconsciously) and we attach images, sounds, feelings too!

Fascinating stuff eh? But did you also know that without knowing it we are motivated by and live our lives through, 6 Basic Human Needs. It is these 6 needs that drive our; health, happiness, relationships and physiology. The vast majority of people live their lives by only 2-3 of these, where their behaviour and outlook on life in general is affected - positively or negatively - by whether or not these needs are met. The following 6 needs can be split down into two parts, numbers 1-4 are needs which require the person to receive or to give in order to experience them, with numbers 5&6 requiring minimal conscious effort through giving or receiving:
  1. Certainty - it is human nature to want to be comforted, be free from pain and anxiety, to be sure of having a way to sustain need is critical too. Often people feel depressed or withdraw when they do not feel certainty in their lives, a work situation or the wider environment. It is instinctive to many to seek out certainty but when it is missing, explains why behaviour trait's occur when the person is living their reality with or without certainty.
  2. Un-Certainty/Variety - it is again human nature to seek variety in life - uncertainty - or the "spice of life". People feel like they are in a rut or un-fulfilled in some way, they lack stimulus from life. Without a level of variety, challenge and stimulus, some people become depressed or blame others for the situation they find themselves in.
  3. Significance -  this is a very understandable need, in that people seek to be recognised, to feel important, needed in some way, special and not ordinary. People with low self esteem seek this but often don't know it, as do aggressive people who feel compelled to project-out and be seen as formally recognised/to have status. For people who do not feel they are achieving significant, their behaviour is affected, often manifesting in a host of different traits.
  4. Connection/Love - have you ever heard people say they like to be in company of others, part of a team, in the "gang" or perhaps are drawn into having relationships to try and obtain this missing need? This is a very powerful and often mis-interpreted human need and hides behind many behaviour traits as the root cause. To many, being devoid of this - whether intentionally or not - impacts them in the way they control depression or anger.
  5. Growth - this human need is where development naturally (physically or mentally) occurs where the person recognises a progression in their life and feels warm, a feeling perhaps of maturity and knowing their way around the block. At work this is often linked to significance and in times of a change can cause the person to question themselves and their place in the environment, even affecting domestic relationships.
  6. Contribution - the final human need, sought by us all in some way comes from a need to put something in, to contribute is to do their bit. When linked to significance it is a powerful unconscious measuring stick and can often be a force for positive and of course of negative. For many, to contribute comes in many forms and is provided in a range of ways, such as; community activity, football teams, gangs, associations, blogging, tweeting or in chat rooms/forums.  
The complexity of human nature is one that I find fascinating - especially having spent the vast majority of my life being confused and frustrated by the dynamics behind why we do what we do and what inhibits or releases us to a happy and fulfilled life. I find now, that often people are simply unaware of how they feel and what causes a good or bad day, and I find others that are only too aware and they will mask away a problem or physiology behind a number of misleading behaviours.

As a Change Interventionist my role is to identify what is going on, to get behind individual or group behaviour by using very specific techniques that un-lock the internal Reality that has been constructed, by aligning this insight with the 6 Basic Human Needs - finding the top 2-3 dominant ones. I then have identified - through patterns of language and behaviour - what is going on so as to discuss this and begin the process of creating a change. As I have stated before, "All behaviour has a structure, which can be modelled, learned, taught and changed". There are potent change interventions that can take place through; use of words, linking Reality change with a touch, even through being in rapport with someone and letting them realise for themselves that what they see as their Reality is wrong.

Although I do not work in domestic based change - plenty of providers and coaches do this - what I tell my organisational Clients is this, a person that works for them within their environment brings with them each day both a domestic and a workplace Reality outlook. It is this outlook that does significantly and silently impact upon how they work and interact with; customers, colleagues and suppliers, even impacting upon the very stability and success of that organisation in some small or big way. More importantly too for Clients to realise is that all behaviour impacts upon other people in a very personal and deep way (if you consider that we absorb what is going on around us and we filter this into our own Reality, then behaviour at work and the implications will affect the Reality and behaviour of others).

The aim of the Baninel Blog is to bring to light for readers the hidden impact of behaviour and why it is the "lost key" to making and improving work and in turn onto and back from; domestic lives, for all people. Training and coaching has a place, but what is needed is to raise the profile of what drives behaviour and to make sure that people in organisational environments recognise and understand it. That organisations give due diligence to it so as to ensure it is fully understood and aligned into the culture and change initiatives that continually evolve. 

If you feel you want to explore this subject and the future tips and suggestions I aim to share, please feel free to subscribe.

Have a great week ahead,



  1. And in these challenging times, certainty is something the organisations are striving for too. It's hard to keep the crew settled if the officers are uncertain themselves. This is where coming back to core values and company goals can help refocus and steady the ship.

  2. Thanks for the input Mira, I totally agree that striving to keep everyone focused on core values and goals is paramount to a happy ship - clarity in purpose, congruancy in objectives and motivation from good and personalised communication!


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