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The 6 Basic Emotional Needs in the Workplace

As a leader, understanding what emotional needs drive you and your team professionally can make all the difference in your interactions with others and the effectiveness of your leadership. When an experience or action meets at least three of our human emotional needs, we find ourselves feeling compelled to follow through with that action.

A recent Align to Thrive article looks in-depth at the six basic needs that we are subconsciously striving to meet in our lives. These emotional needs are fundamental to how we experience life, both personally and professionally.

1. Recognition (Significance): The need to feel important and acknowledged for your abilities and unique individuality.

2. Self-Esteem (Contribution): The need to feel good about yourself and your actions. To give and add value to your circle of influence or world.

3. Love (Connection): The need to connect with others. The need to belong and feel like a part of a team, family or activity.

4. Creative Expression (Growth): The need to continue personal growth through challenging yourself, gaining knowledge and learning.

5. Security (Certainty or Comfort): The need to feel certain and/or confident about things in your life, situations, actions or plans.

6. New Experiences (Variety): The need to change up the “routine” of everyday habits, patterns, likes or dislikes. Some examples include dressing differently, ordering different meals or driving a new route.

Recognizing these fundamental needs that drive you and others in your life is very important to be an effective leader. You can read more insights from Align to Thrive on the 6 emotional needs in the workplace, or check out Align to Thrive’s IC-8 Cultural Assessment to get a comprehensive understanding on your existing company culture.

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