Motivation and Maslow’s Theory

In one of my specialization classes a few weeks back we discussed the Maslow’s theory and it’s impact on motivation. As a good blogger, I immediately though about sharing everything with you.

Maslow’s theory have a wide influence due in part to the high level of practicality of it. His theory accurately describes many realities of personal experiences. Many people find they can understand what Maslow says. They can recognize some features of their experience or behavior which is true and identifiable but which they have never put into words.

Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, aesthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow’s basic needs are as follows:

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Physiological Needs
These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person’s search for satisfaction.

Safety Needs
When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.

Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness
When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging.

Needs for Esteem
When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless.

Needs for Self-Actualization
When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person’s need to be and do that which the person was “born to do”. “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write”.

These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization.

The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for self-actualization.

I’m not an expert on the subject, so pardon me if I misunderstood some concept.

Why is this so important?

From my point of view, Maslow’s theory can help us on rationalizing the things we already knew in some sort of way. Rationalizing this knowledge helps us plan and act accordingly. Still not getting the idea?

Motivation will always impact PEOPLE. Since we all know that projects are done by PEOPLE, motivation will always be an important factor in a project or functional team.

Motivation is deeply affected by the needs.Understanding Maslow’s theory can help you understanding people’s needs and consequently helping you understand how to motivate people around you.

If you’re in a position like mine, where you have to deal with many people all the time and depend on their work to get things done, understanding their needs and helping them motivate is a great skill that can determine the success or failure of a project!

Source: Wikipedia