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  • Writer's pictureTaryn Abrahams

Leveraging Core Universal Needs to Bring out the Very Best in Others

Consciously or not, our needs and values guide our decisions and play a fundamental role in our happiness, motivation and success. Goals are much more likely to be met when they are in alignment with a person's values and beliefs. Often times when there is conflict at work, it is a sign that specific core needs are not being met. Whether you wear a leadership cap or you are an employee; man or woman; Caucasian or non-Caucasian, our core needs are rather universal in that everybody shares them. However, we may all prioritize them differently based on how these needs have or have not been met in our past. These core universal needs are REQUIRED in order for all of us to bring our very best to work:

Feeling Respected


Being Listened To

Constructive Feedback





Here are some simple ways that you can incorporate these core universal needs into your daily practice:

Feeling Respected- smile, learn to apologize, respond in a timely manner, say thank you, go the extra mile.

Trust- Be honest, honor your commitments, admit when you're wrong, show people that you care.

Being Listened to- Practice on being present, resist the urge to interrupt, pay attention to non-verbal cues, avoid multitasking.

Constructive Feedback- Establish trust, balance positive and the negative, don't make it personal, be timely, make it a two-way conversation (ask for feedback in return)

Consistency- Improve your time management, set goals and stick to them, focus on one thing at a time, say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Integrity- Learn to admit when you are wrong, learn to apologize, if you don't know the answer then admit it, respect other's opinions, address conflict honestly and respectfully, be a role model, report unethical behavior.

Empathy-Improve your listening skills, learn to recognize your biases, don't assume the worst, learn to connect with other's feelings.

Self-Expression- Learn your personal biases, don't be so quick to judge, find commonalities in others (instead of focusing on differences), tap into empathy.

When you keep these core universal needs in mind, you will find that other's will be more willing to keep YOUR needs in mind. Which core need is most important to you? Do others know that this need is important to you? Remember...we teach people how to treat us. Figure out what is important to YOU and share that with those you interact with.


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