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The 6 Human Needs for Motivation

Tony Robbins has identified six basic human needs and believes everyone is—or can be—motivated by their desire to fulfill these needs.

You may want to consider these needs when thinking about developing your team members The question to ask is, “What need or needs do my team have that will enable them to fulfill their job roles effectively?”

1. Certainty/Comfort. We all want comfort. And much of this comfort comes from certainty. Of course there is no ABSOLUTE certainty, but we want certainty our computer will start up, the canteen will be open when we want it to be and our job will still be there when we wake up tomorrow morning .

2. Variety. At the same time as we want certainty, we also crave variety. Paradoxically, there needs to be enough UNcertainty to provide spice and adventure in our lives.

3. Significance. Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. Can you imagine looking back on your life and wondering whether you made a difference and coming to the conclusion that you didn’t? There’s not many things worse than that.

4. Connection/Love. It would be hard to argue against the need for connection with other people. We want to feel part of a community. We want to be cared for and cared about. Abraham Maslow called it our need to ‘belong’. It’s the essence of teamwork. It’s what we crave for when we work with others.

5. Growth. There could be some people who say they don’t want to grow, but that’s probably because they have goals that don’t inspire them (or no goals at all). To become better, to improve our skills, to stretch and excel may be more evident in some than others, but it’s there. Try creating goals for the team that will provide rewards other than money, and see which team members go for it. Those who don’t may have died mentally, but not told you!

6. Contribution. The desire to contribute something of value—to help others, to make the world a better place than we found it is in all of us. Take that need away, and you lose all motivation.

Action Point

Evaluate this list to better understand your personal motivations and examine which ones seem the most significant to you. Then, look at what you do to fulfill the needs of other team members. It will likely make a difference in what and how you do what you do. It also should make a difference in the way you describe and explain what you and your team can do.

Contact Blazing Beyond for Training and Coaching needs and support in Building Strong Teams at Email: or visit website at


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