Helping clients discuss their needs
You may have some clients who find it really difficult to identify and discuss their needs or may even feel embarrassed or ashamed if you try to ask about them. This can sometimes be because they feel their needs act as a mirror on who they truly are as a human.
However, their needs are not always personal and current thinking even suggests that a need could simply be a piece of our development that was not well treated during childhood. This is not always a deliberate act by parents or guardians, as they may not have identified this particular need, or recognized how important it was for your client and their personal development.
Coaching needs and finding ways to nourish them properly should therefore help your clients avoid stress, however, it does take time to fully understand how their needs can be satisfied forever. Especially if your client organizes their life to satisfy the same need again and again.
Going around this same process, again and again, can divert energy away from where they really need it most and they may simply find it too difficult to find the motivation needed to work on or satisfy their needs.
One approach could be to encourage your clients to have an open and honest conversation with trusted family members or close friends. That way, they can get any additional help or support they may need to first confirm or validate their needs and then find ways to meet them.
But the real key to understanding needs is to help your clients find ways to learn how to identify their own needs and then satisfy them with or without the help of others. That way it should become an automatic process that simply takes place in the shadows of their mind, while they get on and live their lives feeling fulfilled.
In 1943 Abraham Maslow published his paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ and set out a hierarchy of needs that details the things we all need to feel fulfilled in life.
The base level in the hierarchy covers the Physiological & Physical needs like shelter, food and water. The next level looks at Safety and Security, and this is the area where most of the stress in the modern world sits.
As the father of the humanist approach, Maslow felt the higher categories of Love and Belonging, then Esteem and finally Self-Actualization only emerge when people feel they have truly satisfied their base levels. So if your client is feeling stressed, it can be helpful to work through each layer of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in your coaching sessions, to check if their needs are being met at a basic level.
If you would like to help your clients uncover their needs and find ways to work on or satisfy them, check out this exclusive ebook in our online shop:
- Ebook : Coaching Needs – Help your clients identify their needs and agree action plans to help satisfy them with this essential toolkit for coaching needs. It also includes a simple step-by-step process to use in your coaching sessions.
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