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The 6 Cs: Motivating your team made simple

[4 min read]

How to cater to individual’s needs and promote positive behavioural change.


To positively influence ourselves and others, enhance business relationships and make better decisions, we must acknowledge that motivation plays a significant part in driving behaviours. If we can tap into our own and our team member’s needs and fulfil them in positive ways, we can successfully influence and promote long-lasting change.

Every human being (regardless of gender, age, race, culture etc.) has the same 6 desires (or human core needs) and is driven to satisfy all of them. This is valid in all different areas of our life such as business, family, relationships and in the way we spend our spare time. The priority on any of these desires will be different depending on the part of your life, but for you to be fulfilled in these individual areas, all deepest desires have to be met.

Whether we satisfy these desires in a resourceful way (high quality) or in an unresourceful way (low quality) is crucial and will determine our experience of emotional control and happiness. These needs also show us why we do what we do and why we don’t do what we know we should be doing.



The need for certainty (Safety / Comfort) is a fundamental survival instinct. We all need certainty in our life as we want to feel safe, comfortable and in control, so that we can avoid pain and experience pleasure. Those of us with a deep need for certainty do our best to avoid chaos and the unexpected. The questions we need to ask ourselves are: How do we get a resourceful certainty? Are we seeking certainty in our environment (controlling others) or through believing in ourselves? The answers to these questions will determine the quality of our lives! The more we seek to learn and discover, the greater our self-esteem becomes and thus the better we feel about our lives. This allows us to become who we need to become in order to handle the issues we face along the way.

In your team, you can increase certainty by letting team members know that:

  • Each employee is looked after
  • S/he still has a job next month/year
  • Safe environment (WHS)
  • Remuneration to support the family



The flip side of certainty is our need for change (uncertainty, adventure or variety). Whilst we need some level of certainty to function, we also need some level of change and variety. As they say: ‘Variety is the spice of life’. If things are too predictable for too long, we get bored and could possibly end up in depression due to the self-created lack of choice, so we’ll spice things up to feel variety and adventure. This need for change is a physical and emotional need that encourages us to bring the new, the surprise, the stimulation, the unknown and sometimes disorderly into our lives (embracing adventure, different hobbies, new challenges and creativity).

To keep the employment interesting, employees should get the opportunity to:

  • Get involved in new projects
  • Swap tasks or shifts
  • Personal development and/or further education
  • Being considered for internal promotions



Every person needs to feel important and wanted. Needing to feel special and important in some way has helped to shape who you are today. We can celebrate (feeling significance) by building or achieving something, or we can feel significant by tearing something or someone down. It drives us to assert ourselves as individuals, look out for our own interests and put our own ego first.

You can meet your need to be celebrated through being a leader of yourself and others, inventing stuff, solving problems, volunteer work, achieving a goal, mastery in your field of endeavour, and facing challenges.

Your team members feeling celebrated gives them the drive to build and achieve:

  • Production and delivery of deadlines
  • Financial budgets
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Supporting the team


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Everyone needs connection with other beings and strives for hopes of love. You need to feel loved and touched in order to survive and that need is still at your core.  In this sense connection is the ultimate survival instinct. This is equally valid in family and partner relationships as it is in business and our relationships with colleagues. The need for connection is represented by the human desire to communicate with, relate to and receive love from those around us.  We are motivated to share and develop relationships with people, connecting through nature, exercising, writing, talking, or meditating to meet this need in our lives.

Employees increasingly rely on their employment to feel a sense of connection which can be fulfilled with:

  • Team activities and events
  • Team building workshops
  • Team recognition and awards
  • Team contributions



If we challenge ourselves and grow, we feel good about ourselves, our self-worth goes up, our confidence builds, we feel more certainty, we are experiencing more change/variety, and we are generally feeling good (celebrated and connection). Through personal development and learning we fulfil the need for growth in our lives. This core need is what compels us to mature and evolve as human beings. We need to constantly develop emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. There is a universal law about growth: everything is either growing or dying - there is no middle ground. Anything that you want to remain in your life be it your wealth, your health, your relationship, your happiness or your success - must be cultivated, developed, expanded, or else it will degenerate. As such, in order to keep what you have, you have to keep growing it.

This need in your employees can be fulfilled by:

  • Professional development
  • Personal development
  • Further education



This final need is another pathway to happiness. We get to give to others beyond ourselves, which seems to cause our own problems to fade! Contribution combined with personal growth is indisputably leading you to feel great about YOU. Ultimately, we all share the need for contribution that is manifested in our desire to serve those around us and give rather than simply receive.  Contribution is about sharing what we have with others.  Everything in the universe contributes beyond itself or is eliminated.  Most problems disappear when you focus on serving beyond yourself. Through contribution of our energy, time, attention, focus, money etc. to our partner, our family, the people we work with and the society as a whole we extend who we are.

Examples of contribution include:

  • Emotional problems and sources of pain disappear when focusing on serving beyond ourselves
  • Contribution of energy (work, time, money, etc.) to family, friends, employer, work colleagues and the society
  • Extension of ourselves into the society is an essential part of personal development and fulfilment
  • Help others grow and create a “ripple effect” that goes beyond you



Understanding these deepest desires and catering to them will help you to motivate and strengthen your team, so you can form a strong unity and achieve unprecedented results.


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