Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

We have been teaching the Generic Instructor Course today, one of the best train the trainer short courses in the world I think and it travels well.  We learnt about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in one of the sessions.

Maslow (1943) divided this five-stage model into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).

Deficiency needs arise due to deprivation and are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the motivation to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become.

We had a beautiful example of this here in Liberia where our learners have been a bit vexed by a misunderstanding over food provision during the courses.  They were hoping to get money to buy their food with (and no doubt save some of the money out of this allowance) and were not pleased to find out that “their” food money had been given to caterers to provide the food.  This was compounded when the caterers failed to turn up with the food!  Jo and I were trying to persuade them to prepare for the GIC course over the weekend but they could not do that because they were still animatedly discussing the issue around food allowances.  It was not until that issue had been sorted out this morning that they could start to move up Maslow’s pyramid.  In one day we’ve gone from level 1 to level 4 and will nudge our learners into level 5 by (complimentary) morning coffee tomorrow.

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