- Achievement (nAch)
- Affiliation (nAff)
- Power (nPow)
We have different preferencesWe will tend have one of these needs that affects us more powerfully than others and thus affects our behaviors:
- Achievers seek to excel and appreciate frequent recognition of how well they are doing. They will avoid low risk activities that have no chance of gain. They also will avoid high risks where there is a significant chance of failure.
- Affiliation seekers look for harmonious relationships with other people. They will thus tend to conform and shy away from standing out. The seek approval rather than recognition.
- Power seekers want power either to control other people (for their own goals) or to achieve higher goals (for the greater good). They seek neither recognition nor approval from others -- only agreement and compliance.
Identifying preferencesA common way of discovering our tendencies towards these is with a Thematic Apperception Test, which is a set of black-and-white pictures on cards, each showing an emotionally powerful situation. The person is presented with one card at a time and asked to make up a story about each situation.
Challenge achievers with stretching goals.
Offer affiliation-seekers safety and approval.
Beware of personal power-seekers trying to turn the tables on you or use other Machiavellian methods. Make sure you have sufficient power of your own, or show how you can help them achieve more power.
Understand your own tendencies. Curb the excesses and, especially if you seek affiliation, beware of those who would use this against you and for their own benefit alone.
Published on ChangingMinds