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Are your values limiting you?

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Values stand at the very core of human decision‐making. When an organisational culture aligns with our personal values, we feel liberated. We are able to bring our full selves to work. Richard’s elegant and simple model for whole-system change gives us the “how?”. This is exactly what CEOs need. Tools, methodologies, and a process for managing corporate cultures and corporate values. 

A never heard before reckoning phrase discussed during the podcast by Barret was “Potentially Limiting Values”. This may sound like a very hard to grasp concept as no one ever told us that ‘values can limit us and our progress’. But, it is easy-to-consume as you read along.

Invention of Potentially Limiting Values

During The xMonks Drive conversation led by Gaurav Arora, Richard clarified the meaning of potentially limiting values. A term exclusively coined by Richard that is now a corporate culture talk of organisational functioning. 

“Yeah, this is something I invented 25 years ago. And I realised that there are positive values. I’ll name just a few commitment, honesty, transparency, creativity, friendship, love, etc. But then, there are others and then there are certain behaviours that go with those. Now, there are other behaviours, which are driven by different parts of our psychic entity, the fears of the ego, which causes us to do things like plain and internal competition in an organisation, jealousy. Now, some potentially limiting values are always potentially limiting. 

So for example, blame is almost always potentially limiting. Because when you do that, when you behave in that way, use that value, it creates separation. And, and separation means that you’re not going to get along with people. So that’s why I call these limiting values potentially limiting And we don’t know exactly how limiting them until we realise that we’re actually operating with these limiting values and we’ve taken a good solid look at ourselves and go, Wow, yeah, that really is potentially limiting”, replied Richard.

So to name a few Positive Values and Potentially Limiting Values, here they are- 

Positive Values- Honest, Integrity, Openness, Equality, Creativity, Human Rights, etc.

Limiting Values- Bureaucracy, Power, Status, Manipulation, Greed, Blame, etc.

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The Theory of Motivation

The podcast is centred around the topic, how to stay motivated and inspired. Richard simplified it by giving the Theory of Needs. Theory of Needs is a Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow. The study has been published in Maslow’s 1943 paper. 

It is the simple needs that keep an individual motivated. In order to better understand what motivates human beings, Maslow proposed that human needs can be organized into a hierarchy. This hierarchy ranges from more concrete needs such as food and water to abstract concepts such as self-fulfillment. According to Maslow, when a lower need is met, the next need on the hierarchy becomes our focus of attention.

From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing),  safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.

Maslow’s theory presents his hierarchy of needs in a pyramid shape, with basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid and more high-level, intangible needs at the top. A person can only move on to addressing the higher-level needs when their basic needs are adequately fulfilled.

Physiological needs: 

Physiological needs are the first of the id-driven lower demands on the hierarchy of Maslow. Food and water, adequate rest, clothing and shelter, overall health, and reproduction are the most important human survival needs. Maslow says that before humans move on to the next stage of fulfilment, these essential physiological requirements must be met.

Safety needs: 

Next is protection among the lower-level needs. Safety needs include protection against violence and robbery, well-being and emotional wellbeing, health security, and financial security.

Love and belonging needs: 

Social needs apply to human activity at the third level of Maslow’s hierarchy and are the last of the so-called lower needs. Friendships and family relations with both the biological family (parents, siblings, children) and the chosen family are among these criteria (spouses and partners). In order to achieve a feeling of elevated kinship, physical and emotional intimacy ranging from sexual relations to intimate emotional bonds is necessary. In addition, membership in social groups, from belonging to a team of coworkers to forging an identity in a union, club, or group of hobbyists, contributes to fulfilling this need.

Esteem needs: 

The higher needs are a sense of self needs, starting with esteem. Self-confidence and self-esteem are the primary elements of respect. Specifically, Maslow states that self-confidence can be broken into two types: esteem based on others’ appreciation and acknowledgement, and esteem based on your own self-assessment. This latter form of self-esteem stems from self-confidence and freedom.

Self-actualization needs: 

The fulfilment of your full potential as a person is characterised by self-actualization. Sometimes referred to as self-fulfillment needs, the highest position on the pyramid of Maslow is occupied by self-actualization criteria. Self-actualization expectations include schooling, ability growth, improving skills in fields such as music, sports, architecture, cooking, and gardening, caring for others, and wider objectives such as learning a foreign language, travelling to new locations, and winning awards.

Values, Needs and Motivation

Our values are always directed towards the satisfaction of our needs, and, our needs are always the source of our motivations. 

“When the values of the company are matched with the aspirational values of workers, the outcome is consistently high results.”

With regards to the quality of goods and services, there is a high degree of employee commitment and a promotion of excellence.

There are two other big advantages of the alignment of beliefs.

  1. First, the culture of an organisation is able to attract and maintain talented people when values are matched. This gives a significant commercial advantage to organisations, especially when talent is in short supply. 
  2. Second, the alignment of values constructs a solid brand. The values of brands and business values are two sides of the same coin. Never to forget, those with the strongest internal cultures are always the strongest external brands.

About the Speaker: Richard Barrett

No matter what type of coach you are, if you are concerned with the healthy psychological growth of your clients, this session is for you. It is not about coaching per se, it is about the framework of human development that coaches need to be familiar with in order to facilitate the full emergence of their client’s potential – helping them participate in their own evolution, the evolution of their organizations, the evolution of our global society and the evolution of our species.

Hear it from Richard Barrett, the President of the Barrett Academy for the Advancement of Human Values®, the Founder of the Barrett Values Centre®, a Fellow of the World Business Academy and Former Values Coordinator at the World Bank. Richard is a British author who writes about leadership, leadership development, values, consciousness as well as cultural evolution in business and society.

To dive in for more philosophical conversation on needs and consciousness as a leader hear the full conversation of Richard Barrett at the xMonks Drive Podcast. 

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