Leading Their Needs
Needs. Everyone has them. But do we know how to understand them in our leadership roles?
A number of years ago Hyrum W. Smith, the creator of the Franklin Planner, wrote a book entitled “The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management“. In the latter part of the book, Smith describes what he calls “The Needs Wheel”. In it, he states that everyone has four basic needs:
- To Live
- To Love and Be Loved
- To Feel Important
- To Experience Variety
At any given time, people will try to achieve simultaneous balance in all four areas. When one of these basic needs are not being met, then balance is off and their efforts go fully towards meeting it, sometimes to the exclusion of their other needs.
As leaders, we can use this model to more effectively meet the needs of our people.
For example, if a team member is slowly showing signs of disengagement or less productivity, they may need a change in venue to experience more work variety. Maybe some cross-training or expanded responsibility will help them get back on their game.
When we better understand these needs and how they effect peoples’ lives in and out of work, we will more easily find ways to help them become more valued, productive, and engaged in the organization.
The need to live may manifest itself in job security, safety, and various fears (risk, embarrassment, or job loss). The need of love and being loved can be present when they feel underappreciated, slighted from credit on a project, or seek acceptance in the workplace. By listening and giving responsibility and trust, you can go along way in helping someone feel important in their job.
Lead the needs. Know your people. Help them achieve a more deeper and sustainable work-life balance.
(image courtesy of http://www.hryumwsmith.com)