The enduring influence, popularity and relevance of Maslow's hierarchy of needs can help you in many ways, despite the fact that he proposed it almost 80 years ago in 1943, and that (as he noted) there was little scientific basis to his idea. Today, a google search on it reveals 2.4m results, including a BBC article discussing how it ‘continues to have a strong influence on the world of business’.

So what is Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

It is represented in the above diagram, which shows Maslow’s original five layered pyramid, overlaid by three simpler groupings proposing that we all need to live (exist), to relate to others and to grow, and we work through these needs from the bottom up.

So if we don’t have our existence needs met (food, water, warmth, rest, shelter and security), then those needs are our focus.

If we have those, and not our relatedness needs (relationships, friends, self-esteem, self-acceptance), then relatedness becomes our focus.

Only once we have those needs met, can we achieve our growth needs - i.e. self-fulfilment, achieving our potential, and being the best that we can be.

How can this help me?

Read on...

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