Within the past month I and a member of my team became DDI Certified Facilitators. DDI stands for Development Dimensions International. DDI is a 34-year-old company focused on talent management and leadership development. Much of the certification program was learning about their philosophy on how they work with leaders to get the best results from their teams. One specific area of focus was on DDI’s Key Principles to Meet Personal Needs. DDI has identified five key personal needs that must get attention when we interact with others to get the best results.

If we make an effort to be mindful of these five principles when interacting with others, their personal needs will be fulfilled, which will help them to perform more efficiently. As leaders, our jobs are to make those around us better and help maximize their potential. DDI’s Key Principles will help us do that.

1. Esteem

Every interaction we have has the potential to end in two ways. The people we are working with feel good about themselves and what is going on, or they don’t.  By focusing on the esteem of the people we work with, we can make sure we are doing everything we can to promote a healthy culture and build their esteem and confidence, which will lead to better results. When people experience insecurity and don’t feel good about who they are or what they are doing, this hinders their self-confidence, motivation, engagement, and potential. Giving focus to the esteem of others is good for them and you! How will you enhance another person’s self esteem today? To learn more about esteem, Psychology Today has more information on their page.

2. Empathy

Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.” A great way to relate to people, build trust, and show them you care is to empathize with them. Simply letting people know you are listening and understanding what they are experiencing will keep them engaged and motivated. How can you be more empathetic with those you interact with on a daily basis? This article on the Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People can be very helpful.

3. Involvement

People want to be involved and contribute. Give them that opportunity. Allowing others to contribute makes them feel part of a community. It also gives them a sense of purpose and a feeling of being valued. Last week I read an article on Psychology Today that posed the question: Do Religious People Really Live Longer? My take away from the article is that life expectancy is related to community, having a feeling of belonging, and being valued within a community or culture. Your workplace is its own community and its own culture. By allowing people to be involved and contribute, you are providing a sense of belonging while showing that you value them. This allows both of you to achieve your goals. What initiatives do you have where you could benefit having other people involved?

4. Opportunity to share

Everyone needs a productive way to express their positive and not-so-positive thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Giving others that opportunity will not only fulfill their need to be heard, which builds trust, but it gives us the chance to learn and be better prepared to productively work together. Karl A. Menninger, an American psychiatrist, said, “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold, and expand.” How are you allowing others to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions with you?

5. Support without removing responsibility

Support goes along with community. Having a support system gives us security, a sense of belonging, and lets us know we aren’t alone. Think about everything you’ve experienced and all the support you had in various situations. Now think about what some situations might have been like without the support of others. What kind of support did you receive and would you have succeeded without it? How can you better lend support to those around you?

At the end of the day, we are social creatures who have to work together. The better we work together, the more effective we will be, and the more efficiently we will reach our goals. Giving attention to DDI’s Five Key Principles of Personal Needs when we work with others is good for everyone!

Love this article?