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What Are The 4 Big Human Needs?

Updated: May 17, 2021

When it comes to the wellbeing of your people or of you as an individual, what we first must understand is the four big human needs. There is a great book by Damien Hughes, called How To Change Absolutely Anything, which also talks about these four big human needs.

And they are –

To be valued,

To be in control,

To be safe and

To belong.

They are our big human needs. If we think about these and how we shape a working environment or our own personal environment for people, then we start to understand how they affect our wellbeing and behaviour.

Let's look at, what's not working with making our people feel valued or your own personal value in your home environment as a start.

If you think, ‘I want to be in control’ ask yourself What am I not in control of? You only have to look at the last 12 months of our lives to feel like a lot of things got taken away from us and made us feel like we were not in control. That's where fear comes from. That's where we start to worry about the future. There are definitely things that we can do to feel a little bit more in control and to be part of the decision-making process of our lives.

When we look at being safe or safety it leads us to look at it in it’s most basic form; a roof over our head or being able to survive, ultimately, that's what safety is, but also to feel secure in your workplace. There’s a lot of contracts out there that are zero-hour contracts. And right now, yes, a lot of people would just love to be back in work but if look at the current climate, many will take a zero-hour contract because they need to work and I totally understand it, but long-term does it make you feel safe? Having a very flexible contract? I know though that some people are quite happy with that.

When we start to think about safety within our home environment, how safe does it feel? Are we able to sleep at night and have peace of mind? This is an ultimate need that we want. And if the answer is no, then please reach out if you are struggling to someone, there are people that can help you. If we're not able to sleep at night and we really don't feel safe within our living environment, then again, our whole wellbeing and our mindset is going to be altered because of that.

Take the next one, to belong, to have a sense of community, to feel like we’re included, were involved, that we are part of the team. We do not want to be excluded or left out of situations or out of decisions. These are the things that we want.

Let’s think about how we can actually improve the four big needs in the situations that we're in now, or identify the people who can help us improve this. If we are looking at the workplace and organisational development, then it has to start with the senior leadership team within the workplace. It is ultimately their responsibility to help shape the environment that you work in every day. You play a part in that, of course you do, that's how you can belong, by letting them know your thoughts if they are willing to listen. Now, if they are not willing to listen and they are not setting the best tone of the environment and you're not feeling like you're in a space where you're able to satisfy your four big human needs, then it is totally going to affect your wellbeing and your mindset.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As a learning and performance consultancy, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 10 years of expertise in learning and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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