In my coaching work, I constantly refer to Tony Robbins’ 6 Core Needs because it is such an elegant and useful framework for explaining and improving the way we live, work, and relate.
To summarize, each of us has within us 6 core needs which – depending on the extent to which they are being fulfilled – influence how happy we are at any point in time. Within the 6 core needs, we also have (typically) 2 core needs which are dominant, and that stand out as markers of our personality and preferences. The first 4 core needs are considered basic survival needs, while the last 2 are of a higher order, belonging more to the spirit.
So a person whose core needs are Certainty and Significance would be driven by structure, would operate on logic and predictability, dislike disruption, chaos, and unforeseen change, has a high need for recognition, and wants to feel that they are important and that their work matters.
Can you think of someone with these attributes in your workplace?
The shadow side of being strongly driven by Certainty is that the person might then miss out on the stimulation and growth that come from having Uncertainty, Variety, and Adventure in their life. Things get too predictable and boredom sets in, and they wonder why they don’t feel engaged anymore.
What they need is to intentionally introduce Uncertainty into their routines. Make new friends. Take up a new sport. Visit a place they have never been before. Do something every day that makes them slightly uncomfortable.
Similarly, the person strongly driven by Significance may err on the extreme by allowing their Ego to rule, which may lead to them making decisions which glorify themselves at the expense of others or at the expense of what is good, just, or compassionate.
What they need to temper this imbalance is more Connection, Intimacy, and Belonging, to remind and reconnect them back to their humanity and to the larger human family to which they belong.
The 6 Core Needs are an excellent tool for assessing and improving how we work, relate to others, and live our lives. It’s not about being right/wrong, but rather about becoming aware of where we can do better, and making the little adjustments to our thinking and behaviour so we can experience even more joy, fulfillment, and contentment.